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"Ron Paul has regularly met with many A3P members, even engaging in conference calls with their board of directors."
February 2, 2012 12:21 AM   Subscribe

Hacker group Anonymous has discovered that Ron Paul is working directly with the neo-Nazi group American Third Position Party, whose members occupy key posts in Paul's campaign and whose directors have had conference calls with the Congressman and Presidential candidate. The full information release can be viewed at pirasec.org, though the interface is fairly clunky.
posted by Pope Guilty (441 comments total) 52 users marked this as a favorite

 
!!! Now to see how much traction this story gets in the MSM.
posted by thecjm at 12:24 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Paul might have conference calls with neo-Nazis, but it doesn't count if someone else is dialing the phone.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:31 AM on February 2, 2012 [72 favorites]


Is this white, gray or black hat?
posted by stbalbach at 12:31 AM on February 2, 2012


Is this white, gray or black hat?

Pointy hat?
posted by bicyclefish at 12:35 AM on February 2, 2012 [36 favorites]


Racist guy is racist. This is my surprised face.
posted by andoatnp at 12:35 AM on February 2, 2012 [27 favorites]


Is this white, gray or black hat?

It's sharp uniforms and nice shiny boots.
posted by sebastienbailard at 12:37 AM on February 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Is Ron Paul some kind of plant to get good ideas smeared with bad ones?

Getting rid of drug laws = neo-Nazi supporter
posted by dibblda at 12:37 AM on February 2, 2012 [27 favorites]


At least he isn't meeting secretly with the Koch Brothers. Now THEY are evil, he said, stopping to take a drink from a Dixie Cup.
posted by evilmidnightbomberwhatbombsatmidnight at 12:39 AM on February 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


GOOGLE RON PAUL AGAIN
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 12:40 AM on February 2, 2012 [84 favorites]


I don't think this is good enough evidence that he himself is a racist, etc. It is probably more like choosing a pact/working relationship with the devil.
posted by polymodus at 12:40 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


to quote a friend of mine earlier today,
"the BNP part to me is even more damning because you can't even plug your ears and go LA LA LA HES A DODDERING GRANDPA about it. their agenda isn't libertarian in the slightest, the only thing they have in common is white supremacy"
posted by p3on at 12:42 AM on February 2, 2012 [14 favorites]


the BNP part to me is even more damning because you can't even plug your ears and go LA LA LA HES A DODDERING GRANDPA about it.
Plus, given the constituency the BNP are trying to appeal to, their policy is very pro-socialised healthcare and so on (in the cynically opportunist and racist way Griffin has), which seems sort of a give-away that race is what brings them together, as on the face of it they have no common ground on the libertarian agenda.
posted by Abiezer at 12:46 AM on February 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


I don't think this is good enough evidence that he himself is a racist, etc. It is probably more like choosing a pact/working relationship with the devil.

"One book, 'White supremacists and me: this sort of thing is my bag, baby,' by Ronald Ernest Paul..."
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 12:46 AM on February 2, 2012 [71 favorites]


Both Congressman Paul and his aides regularly meet with members of the Stormfront set, American Renaissance, the Institute for Historic Review, and others at the Tara Thai restaurant in Arlington, Virginia, usually on Wednesdays

I want to know more about Neo-Nazi white supremacists going out for Thai food because that's their favorite spot.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:46 AM on February 2, 2012 [79 favorites]


Here's what they did to one of the websites they hacked. That's Google cached content, and I have no idea how to provide a link that won't die within a week or so.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:50 AM on February 2, 2012 [25 favorites]


I don't think this is good enough evidence that he himself is a racist, etc. It is probably more like choosing a pact/working relationship with the devil.

And this is better how?
posted by New England Cultist at 12:50 AM on February 2, 2012 [13 favorites]


Live by the Internet, die by the Internet.
posted by Saydur at 12:55 AM on February 2, 2012 [14 favorites]


"Both Congressman Paul and his aides regularly meet with members of the Stormfront set, American Renaissance, the Institute for Historic Review, and others at the Tara Thai restaurant in Arlington, Virginia, usually on Wednesdays," he said. "I have attended these dinners, seen Paul and his aides there, and been invited to his offices in Washington to discuss policy."


White supremacists have meetings at a Thai restaurant?


This is my surprised face.
posted by louche mustachio at 12:56 AM on February 2, 2012 [86 favorites]


Getting rid of drug laws = neo-Nazi supporter

But he isn't actually against drug laws. He's against turning that authority over to the states, some of which could possibly legalize, and some of which, like Texas, would most decidedly not.

He also wants to turn abortion laws over to the states, which I am personally opposed to as a person who could potentially screw up or get one of those bad Pfizer pills or be raped, and also stem cell research somehow, and gay marriage (what kind of libertarian wants to let the states outlaw abortion and gay marriage?), and believes that the federal government "has absolutely no role in education" under the Constitution, "regardless of what the Supreme Court has claimed." Huh! When has the Supreme Court asserted a federal role in public education? Have there ever been any famous cases about that? Here's a fun wikipedia paragraph:

"Paul is an ardent proponent of school choice, saying that private, parochial, and home schools provide a healthy counterweight to 'the near monopoly control over indoctrination of young people'[167] of the public schools, which he considers 'socialist';[171] and he notes that the nation's Founders themselves were largely home-schooled or taught in church-associated schools."

He is also on the record as saying that "education is not a right."

Given where he lives and who he represents for a living, he knows perfectly well that more power for certain states equals less power for women and black people. When this guy is right he's only half-right, but he's happy to talk like he agrees with you all the way anyway, even if he's actually working for something quite different.
posted by Adventurer at 12:58 AM on February 2, 2012 [49 favorites]


White supremacists have meetings at a Thai restaurant?

It's Phil, the Disco Skinhead! He lives two lives!
posted by furiousthought at 12:59 AM on February 2, 2012 [11 favorites]


Fun is fun, but I'm looking through pirasec.org, and there are a lot of messages about how awesome Ron Paul is and how it sucks that people make fun of him, but I can't seem to find much about meetings between him and key players, talking about mustache trends of late 1930s Germany and so forth. Is there a "smoking gun" analysis of these data yet?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:03 AM on February 2, 2012 [7 favorites]


But he isn't actually against drug laws. He's against turning that authority over to the states

Oh no! Typing mistake! Oh no! He WANTS to turn that authority over to the states. He wants to turn pretty much all of the authority over to the states.

Holy crap, he also wants to cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent. This is not related but I am reading wikipedia and I did not know that! How naked of him.
posted by Adventurer at 1:05 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Damn it, I knew we should have destroyed Nick Griffin's last horcrux.
posted by fight or flight at 1:05 AM on February 2, 2012 [12 favorites]


Now to see how much traction this story gets in the MSM.

Tumbleweed...
posted by omnikron at 1:07 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Given where he lives and who he represents for a living, he knows perfectly well that more power for certain states equals less power for women and black people. When this guy is right he's only half-right, but he's happy to talk like he agrees with you all the way anyway, even if he's actually working for something quite different.


Yeah okay, but how do you really conclude this, that Paul is a racist who happens to have latched upon libertarianism as a tool. The more charitable/goodwill interpretation is that he is first and foremost a libertarian, a political category that happens to attract racist types. Maybe I'm missing a crucial fact about him, here.

Just going over his Wikipedia entry, I think that a) he is pretty weak at protecting minorities, and b) he is ignorant about science. But until someone hacks his own email and reveals his private thinking, what they've done here is purely circumstantial and smeary.
posted by polymodus at 1:08 AM on February 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Circumstantial and smeary as it may be, I wish they had released it as a packaged archive so I could download the text and read it at my leisure. They may not forgive and they may not forget, but they certainly can't code a site.
posted by Samizdata at 1:16 AM on February 2, 2012 [8 favorites]


Blazecock Pileon, I have also not found anything of actual interest regarding this post.

I found this from a google search showing Kelso smiling into a camera and Ron Pauls back walking away. Kinda like a fan getting his picture of a celebrity who needs to be elsewhere. There are also some emails in that link.

I get satisfaction to hear about racist Ron Paul supporters being targeted by brony hacktivists. I don't exactly agree with the tone of this post.

But anyway. . . fuck Ron Paul
posted by dagosto at 1:21 AM on February 2, 2012 [5 favorites]


Yeah okay, but how do you really conclude this, that Paul is a racist who happens to have latched upon libertarianism as a tool.

He can easily be wholeheartedly libertarian and racist at the same time. Libertarianism provides no protection for minority interests and the disadvantaged against stronger people and organizations (employers who discriminate based on race, corporations who use poor neighborhoods as dumping grounds) whose needs/desires conflict with theirs. From an Ayn Rand point of view it's very easy to say "if black people can't make it economically, there must be something wrong with THEM. It's not our responsibility to coddle them. Let the strong take what they need to excel and the weak find their own bootstraps." If you live in this society and somehow believe that all personal circumstances are a matter of personal responsibility alone, racism and libertarianism would be mutually reinforcing worldviews. And anyway you'd have to explain inequality to yourself somehow, if you thought about it. If government has no role in improving lives and safeguarding the rights of the disadvantaged, either you have to admit to yourself that libertarianism leaves the poor to hang or you have to find a reason to believe they deserve it. So much easier if you're already inclined to believe they deserve it.

Honestly, though, I don't think the contents of his private thoughts matter if everything he's working for is good for his racist constituents and bad for his poor/minority ones. And his state does not have a terrific track record in this area.
posted by Adventurer at 1:34 AM on February 2, 2012 [45 favorites]


Too bad. I'd enjoyed imagining the presidential debates might highlight the war on drugs, but that's doomed now.
posted by jeffburdges at 1:34 AM on February 2, 2012


Well this revelation is really going to hurt Paul's chances of becoming President of the United States. And he was doing so well!
posted by three blind mice at 1:51 AM on February 2, 2012 [14 favorites]


Guy who had an openly racist newsletter, disparages almost all forms of civil rights protections, dislikes welfare provision in general, comes from Texas and hates abortion might be racist? *shock*.
posted by jaduncan at 1:57 AM on February 2, 2012 [6 favorites]


So, here's what the guy with Neo Nazi connections is saying on immigration:
Paul blasted politicians who blame immigrants for causing the country’s economic problems. He compared the situation to Nazi Germany’s targeting of Jews in the 1930s.

“When things go badly, individuals look for scapegoats,” Paul said. “Hispanics, the immigrants who have come in, are being used as scapegoats.”

Paul said he doesn’t support illegal immigration and said people who break the law should be punished. But he said he opposes any effort to round people up and ship them away.

“If an individual is found to be breaking the law, serious consideration should be given for them to return. But I would think 99 percent of people who come here come because they believe in the American dream,” Paul said to applause.

Paul decried a punitive border policy, which said offended his belief in individual liberty.

“The one thing I have resisted and condemned: I do not believe that barbed-wire fences and guns on our border will solve any of our problems,” he said.
So, the Neo Nazis seem to have picked the wrong guy.
posted by sien at 2:00 AM on February 2, 2012 [11 favorites]


Adventurer: From an Ayn Rand point of view ...

Or, in her own words:
"[The Native Americans] didn't have any rights to the land and there was no reason for anyone to grant them rights which they had not conceived and were not using.... What was it they were fighting for, if they opposed white men on this continent? For their wish to continue a primitive existence, their "right" to keep part of the earth untouched, unused and not even as property, just keep everybody out so that you will live practically like an animal, or maybe a few caves above it. Any white person who brought the element of civilization had the right to take over this continent."
posted by titus-g at 2:05 AM on February 2, 2012 [33 favorites]


I'm encouraged that Mr Paul's campaign is enough of a treat to the powers that run Anonymous (probably the CIA???) have taken the time to compose this tome. This means that I might actually get to vote for him after all when the primary finally gets to my insane home state of Indiana.
posted by MikeWarot at 2:08 AM on February 2, 2012


I'm encouraged that Mr Paul's campaign is enough of a treat to the powers that run Anonymous (probably the CIA???) have taken the time to compose this tome. This means that I might actually get to vote for him after all when the primary finally gets to my insane home state of Indiana.

My handlers ordered me to post this late at night so that it would get buried by the time people start getting up.

TRUST NO ONE
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:17 AM on February 2, 2012 [26 favorites]


I'm encouraged that Mr Paul's campaign is enough of a treat to the powers that run Anonymous (probably the CIA???) have taken the time to compose this tome. This means that I might actually get to vote for him after all when the primary finally gets to my insane home state of Indiana.

Always surprising that an insane state could produce such rational people.
posted by atrazine at 2:22 AM on February 2, 2012 [7 favorites]


Paul said he doesn’t support illegal immigration and said people who break the law should be punished. But he said he opposes any effort to round people up and ship them away.

He also opposes birthright citizenship and amnesty, so it doesn't sound like he's actually up for making it easier to immigrate here. All he's saying, really, is that they shouldn't be rounded up. Where do they get rounded up? At work. Where they serve as a source of cheap labor who legally cannot bargain for better wages, more benefits, or safer conditions. Many, many employers absolutely love being able to employ illegal immigrants, rely on them, especially in Texas, and Ron Paul is also a guy who wants to cut the corporate income tax rate from 35 to 15 percent. He is once again wrapping himself up in righteous language with powerful emotional appeal to disguise his actual agenda, which is not friendly to non-wealthy individuals at all, which is about using these people as the cheapest possible cogs.

More from wikipedia: "Paul was critical of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, arguing that it sanctioned federal interference in the labor market and did not improve race relations. He once remarked: 'The Civil Rights Act of 1964 not only violated the Constitution and reduced individual liberty; it also failed to achieve its stated goals of promoting racial harmony and a color-blind society.'" (You'll find this paragraph right below the one that talks about how he thinks global warming is a hoax and about how he "asserts private property rights in relation to environmental protection and pollution prevention.")
posted by Adventurer at 2:22 AM on February 2, 2012 [12 favorites]


He can easily be wholeheartedly libertarian and racist at the same time. Libertarianism provides no protection for minority interests...

I don't care what he can/can't be. What would be relevant to this post is whether he is in fact a racist person. And like we've both pointed out, there are already other more pragmatic reasons for not voting for him.

The "Ayn Rand" flavor of libertarianism seems to be the only version of it in the American discourse. I think the various original theorists (e.g. Austrian school) would reject it for the very fact that that particular approach is insensitive towards minority needs. Yet it must be pointed out that the non-libertarian governments we've endured all this time along have repeatedly failed to address minority needs as well.
posted by polymodus at 2:23 AM on February 2, 2012


Tara Thai is not in Arlington, for what it's worth.
posted by feloniousmonk at 2:31 AM on February 2, 2012


Paul said he doesn’t support illegal immigration and said people who break the law should be punished. But he said he opposes any effort to round people up and ship them away.

The fact that anyone who calls themselves a libertarian can deny human beings the fundamental right and freedom to move around the planet where they want to, where they have the most opportunity as individuals, is instructive and revealing of the whole philosophy. Libertarianism only applies within your own borders, apparently. Within your own wealthy country's borders. Liberty stops at border crossings, it seems.
posted by Jimbob at 2:32 AM on February 2, 2012 [24 favorites]


But until someone hacks his own email and reveals his private thinking, what they've done here is purely circumstantial and smeary.

So when this kind of thing came out in his newsletter years ago, that wasn't good enough? Oh, but we can't see his REAL inner thoughts, just the ones he sends in his name to his followers. Maybe is true, private thinking is totally different from what he sent out in his newsletters.
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 2:39 AM on February 2, 2012 [8 favorites]


I'm encouraged that Mr Paul's campaign is enough of a treat to the powers that run Anonymous (probably the CIA???)

Yeeeeeah. I've been telling people that Ron Paul supporters are the new Lyndon LaRouche-ites for a while, thanks for backing me up.
posted by DecemberBoy at 2:55 AM on February 2, 2012 [30 favorites]


Yet it must be pointed out that the non-libertarian governments we've endured all this time along have repeatedly failed to address minority needs as well.

You could certainly say that they've failed to address them permanently. But I think we're better off with Reconstruction, the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, the 19th Amendment (women of course not being a minority, but traditionally oppressed strictly on account of physical strength), Roe v. Wade (ditto), the Tennessee Valley Authority (rural poor: minority), Lawrence v. Texas, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Brown v. Board of Education, etc etc than with nothing. I'm not convinced the practice of owning humans who have to work for you for free would have just petered out on its own were each state left to its own devices either.

People will be be governed somehow, whether they get to elect their leaders or not. How all the little would-be utopias interact and divide up resources with the states that oppress the hell out of people is interesting to think about (but couldn't we just read about Athens and Sparta?), but the main thing that happens in a libertarian country in the 21st century is this: in the absence of any federal checks at all, corporations are just gonna steamroll everybody. It's the direction we're going now, have been since Reagan, and it's a Trojan Horse: near-total disenfranchisement wrapped up in the promise of personal liberation. Labor, consumers, irreplaceable resources: all exploited to maximum capacity. Large-scale Triangle Shirtwaist Factories and Cuyahoga Rivers on fire all the time and no way to put them out. Take away the anti-abortion message and the opposition to gay marriage and all the stuff in the newsletters about black people being "fleet-footed" and how AIDS patients shouldn't be allowed in restaurants, and it's still The Jungle by Upton Sinclair. Libertarianism maybe works for towns.
posted by Adventurer at 3:02 AM on February 2, 2012 [36 favorites]


If we're looking for an X-ray that can see into Ron Paul's soul, we're never going to find one. And if we're trying to define racism by that standard, then there aren't any racists but the ones burning crosses on people's lawns. The actual relevant questions are not about what's in his soul.

We have his stated positions on the Civil Rights Act. We have him saying on the Daily Show (9/29/09) that the US was closer to an ideal of liberty and personal property rights back when it was founded, and entirely disregarding the fact that some people did not have liberty because they were personal property. To me, it makes no difference whether he actually consciously holds racist views or he's just so wedded to a utopic libertarian ideal that he refuses to face the way that ideal would play out in the lives of people of color.
posted by Jeanne at 3:13 AM on February 2, 2012 [33 favorites]


Can you guys stop the Texas hate? Seriously, it's not a monolith group of people who have the same ideas or even the same skin color.
posted by melt away at 3:19 AM on February 2, 2012 [9 favorites]


Can you guys stop the Texas hate? Seriously, it's not a monolith group of people who have the same ideas or even the same skin color.

I love Texas as much as the next guy, have family and friends there, but let's face it - all Texans have the same government representing them.
posted by IvoShandor at 3:25 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I love Texas as much as the next guy, have family and friends there, but let's face it - all Texans have the same government representing them.

I'm from (the People's Republic of) Austin. The Republicans had to actively engage in sleazy gerrymandering to make your statement true, so much so that the Democrats in the state legislature walked out over it. Texas is largely terrible politically speaking, yeah, but remember our little West Berlin when tarring us with the same brush and that you may be alienating people that are on your side.
posted by DecemberBoy at 3:30 AM on February 2, 2012 [8 favorites]


Are you guys really surprised that some racists like Thai food? It's not like their taste buds are racist, and since when have racists been against minorities making food for them?
posted by P.o.B. at 3:31 AM on February 2, 2012 [21 favorites]


I don't know... without Ron Paul coming to the next GOP debate wearing a swastika armband, I don't think there will ever be any definitive proof for the statement "Ron Paul is a white supremacist". I do think that these emails prove the statement "Ron Paul is an amoral sociopath" who will work with anyone to get his message out. And that, while Paul might not be Hitler, he sure isn't bothered too much by people who hope he is.

Well this revelation is really going to hurt Paul's chances of becoming President of the United States. And he was doing so well!


I don't think Paul has ever been under any delusions that he will become President (although many of his supporters think that). I think that he's laying the groundwork for libertarian politics in general, and in that, I'm not entirely sure he's been completely unsuccessful. Taking a broader view, it could be argued that libertarian ideas are spreading, and that while today it may be implausible, down the line it's entirely possible that a political movement espousing libertarian views could rise to some degree of influence. The American GOP has a significant libertarian element - it's possible that this element could grow to become the dominant element. Paul might be an odious crank, but I don't think he's stupid.
posted by jhandey at 3:32 AM on February 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


First Gingrich, now Paul. Pretty soon we're going to have people posting on Metafilter about how David Duke isn't a racist, he's just a sociopath who panders to racists.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:35 AM on February 2, 2012 [18 favorites]


Defeated Sigh
posted by AndrewKemendo at 3:38 AM on February 2, 2012


There are large swaths of Texas that are that terrible. I live in the middle of such an area. And we elected Bush and Perry. This state has an outright contempt for education that bleeds over to other states because we're such a large state. TRRC and TCEQ are worse than toothless, they're complicit in the pollution of land and it's water supply. I also live in the middle of the Barnett Shale.

Two enclaves don't make up for anything. When my well goes bad, I'll be safe in the knowledge that there are some people that really do mean well. Hey, can I borrow your water?
posted by narcoleptic at 3:39 AM on February 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


You know, I don't know if this is quite as damning as the anons in question want it to be - in the sense that it's not quite clear from what I've read so far that Paul's organization is thoroughly riddled with or dependent on overt white supremacists - but, I mean, if Paul is even occasionally meeting with these people and taking their money? Fuck him. I don't care if deep down in his very heart of unknowable hearts he really and truly hates black people. Giving anything more sympathetic than an extended middle finger to characters like these is categorically not OK, and in a better world would be sufficient to end any political career.
posted by brennen at 3:54 AM on February 2, 2012 [5 favorites]


First Gingrich, now Paul. Pretty soon we're going to have people posting on Metafilter about how David Duke isn't a racist, he's just a sociopath who panders to racists.

There is a difference, especially when you take into account that racism is a spectrum - every single white person who's ever used a racial slur isn't a card-carrying member of Stormfront. David Duke was an honest-to-goodness KKK Grand Whatever. Newt Gingrich has shown himself to be an unstable sociopath in virtually every other area of his life and career. Ron Paul is a life-long devotee of sociopathy institutionalized as politics - libertarianism.

Pretty much the entire GOP field has been playing the aggrieved white man card for this entire primary - are they all frothing racists and secret Klansmen, or are they scumbags who'll eagerly use racism to boost their campaign against the first black president? Option B seems more plausible - the GOP's main allegiance is to the 1 percent, green, not necessarily white. They'll eagerly screw poor and middle class whites just as hard as they'll screw anyone else. Divide and conquer, not because of any deep love for Caucasianness, but because that's always been how you grow the distance between the top and the bottom.
posted by jhandey at 3:55 AM on February 2, 2012 [7 favorites]


So it seems Paul and his assistants have been chummy with Kelso, Whitaker and other white supremacists for at least a couple years now - the emails at least detail "Paul's number two guy in CA" or "Paul's number one guy in Illinois" being in close contact with this people. And this is after the newsletter incident. At some point "he's just an old man cmon they're all racist at that age" doesn't cut it anymore.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:57 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


So the only guy who is talking about ending the war on drugs, which would do far more for minorities in the US than just about anything you could name is unacceptable to Metafilter.

Metafilter, the site where the Iraq War and the ridiculous War on Terror was anathema for years will only criticize the only guy in the US presidential race who is putting the issue up for debate will only be criticized on Metafilter.

Ron Paul won't be elected president but he pretty much should be celebrated by anyone who didn't like the Iraq Wars and has qualms about the war on drugs.

Imagine, 10+% of Republicans in many states in many states are saying END THE WAR ON DRUGS, STOP INVADING OTHER COUNTRIES. Imagine if the progressives could get find some common ground with these people and get a candidate up who might do something about the worst things the US is doing.

Or alternatively keep hating Paul.
posted by sien at 3:59 AM on February 2, 2012 [7 favorites]


Pretty much the entire GOP field has been playing the aggrieved white man card for this entire primary - are they all frothing racists and secret Klansmen, or are they scumbags who'll eagerly use racism to boost their campaign against the first black president?

Why on earth would I care? You can't see their hearts, but you can damn sure see their actions.


So the only guy who is talking about ending the war on drugs, which would do far more for minorities in the US than just about anything you could name is unacceptable to Metafilter.

Metafilter, the site where the Iraq War and the ridiculous War on Terror was anathema for years will only criticize the only guy in the US presidential race who is putting the issue up for debate will only be criticized on Metafilter.

Ron Paul won't be elected president but he pretty much should be celebrated by anyone who didn't like the Iraq Wars and has qualms about the war on drugs.

Imagine, 10+% of Republicans in many states in many states are saying END THE WAR ON DRUGS, STOP INVADING OTHER COUNTRIES. Imagine if the progressives could get find some common ground with these people and get a candidate up who might do something about the worst things the US is doing.

Or alternatively keep hating Paul.


This would not be bullshit except that Stewart Alexander is also against the drug war, the Iraq war, and the war on terror, and he has exactly the same chance of ever being president that Ron Paul does. So it's pure bullshit.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:12 AM on February 2, 2012 [17 favorites]


Can you guys stop the Texas hate? Seriously, it's not a monolith group of people who have the same ideas or even the same skin color.

I'm talking about Texas in terms of its state government. I say this as a person who grew up in Oklahoma, where the government is even worse. Although our football teams are much, much better. So much better.
posted by Adventurer at 4:14 AM on February 2, 2012 [6 favorites]


sien, I have long been sympathetic to various of Paul's stated positions on drug law and foreign policy, and most of the people I know who support him do so largely for those reasons (well, tinged by conspiracy theory and money quack stuff, in some cases).

I'm a stoner and a peace freak. Yes, these are hugely important problems. I'm also a leftist and consider myself opposed to homophobia and racism. I can't speak for "MetaFilter", but Ron Paul is unacceptable to me because of pretty much the entire rest of his agenda and ideology. I think it's remarkable that someone is saying things about the absurdity of drug law, war, and the erosion of civil liberties in a way that has captured the imagination of lots of people and built a real movement; I think it's somewhere in the territory of tragedy that the guy in question has the problems of Ron Paul.

Ta-Nehisi Coates has written pretty compellingly on this dynamic.
posted by brennen at 4:20 AM on February 2, 2012 [26 favorites]


why did they deface the one site with those ponies i keep seeing
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 4:21 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Metafilter, the site where the Iraq War and the ridiculous War on Terror was anathema for years will only criticize the only guy in the US presidential race who is putting the issue up for debate will only be criticized on Metafilter.


Only in America.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:26 AM on February 2, 2012


I dunno about you guys but I'm sort of criticizing Ron Paul because of all the Nazi stuff
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:37 AM on February 2, 2012 [42 favorites]


Dudes, don't worry about Ron Paul.

Worry about his son in 2016. That dude is cut from the same cloth ideologically speaking, but can deliver the crazy without the shrill tone of his father. He will attract far more of the Republican base simply because he's more pleasant.
posted by Burhanistan at 4:43 AM on February 2, 2012 [6 favorites]


Is anybody else hoping for a Scooby-Doo-style reveal? Paul is called out on his neo-Nazi ties at a debate, rips off his shockingly-high-quality mask to reveal that It Was Hitler All Along, and goose-steps off stage with the Deutschlandlied blaring from a tinny iPod speaker?

Just me?
posted by uncleozzy at 4:45 AM on February 2, 2012 [11 favorites]


Tara Thai is not in Arlington, for what it's worth.
posted by feloniousmonk at 2:31 AM on February 2 [+] [!]


The place at 4001 North Fairfax Drive in Arlington called Tara Temple used to be a Tara Thai.
posted by kcds at 4:49 AM on February 2, 2012


Adventurer asks "When has the Supreme Court asserted a federal role in public education? Have there ever been any famous cases about that?"

Perhaps your schools failed to teach you about the Brown decision, that 1954 Supreme Court decision that ordered the desegregation of American schools?
posted by mareli at 4:53 AM on February 2, 2012 [13 favorites]


Ron Paul is working directly with the neo-Nazi group American Third Position Party

Considering "Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power." - Benito Mussolini Paul's feet of clay - he's just working directly.

(If fascism is so bothersome to many - why support for the merger of state and corporate power? Or is your personal participation in the merger of State and Corporate power a Sinclair moment "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it" sort of thing? You go along with your Corporate job because it is a comfortable living.)
posted by rough ashlar at 4:58 AM on February 2, 2012


Dudes, don't worry about Ron Paul.

This is the point really. Ron Paul isn't even being talked about by people who might support Ron Paul. What's next anonymous? Some high school love letters written by Newt Gingrich?

And neither DU will I worry about Rand Paul. The establishments on both sides keep the libertarians at bay and there really isn't much purchase in America for the libertarians regardless of personality. It's much ado about 5% of the vote.
posted by three blind mice at 4:58 AM on February 2, 2012


You know, my grandpa was kind of a funny old man, too. He was a good guy, but he had some old-fashioned ideas, and held some opinions that might not be popular today. He grew up on a farm in the '20s, and some of those attitudes stayed with him.

I'll tell you one thing, though- he went to war to fight Nazis. He didn't meet them for Thai food.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:06 AM on February 2, 2012 [64 favorites]


So the only guy who is talking about ending the war on drugs, which would do far more for minorities in the US than just about anything you could name is unacceptable to Metafilter.

It has never been about that.

We went through this the last election cycle, and although this has more credibility than the emails relatives send me about how Obama is a secret Muslim (or the whole Jeremiah Wright thing... how soon people forget) or somesuch, it isn't by much. At least Lee Atwater had the decency to renounce his previous actions. Others seem to still be using his playbook.

Although I am a bit disturbed by the feel of McCarthism that surrounds these things, in the end McCarthy was right, and it may come to pass that others are right about Paul.

The big question is does it matter? From the American Third Party link:

The party takes a strong stand against immigration[5] and globalization,[6] and strongly supports an anti-interventionist foreign policy.[7] Although the party does not support labor unions, they do strongly support the labor rights of the American working class on a platform of placing American workers first over illegal immigrant workers and banning of overseas corporate relocation of American industry and technology.


So if I support any of the above, does that make me racist? Or are these people racist? It's as if the ghost of Atwater can litmus test any sensibility by crying racism.

The difficulty here is that there are no real Ron Paul supporters. There are people who support ending the overseas wars, ending the war on drugs, ending torture as an official government policy, who think the government shouldn't be able to assassinate citizens or jail them indefinitely, who think TARP was a betrayal of the American people, etc. and there no answer from the major parties on these issues.

So cry racist or homophone or communist and we can ignore these issues altogether.
posted by quintessencesluglord at 5:07 AM on February 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


Paul's stated positions on drug law and foreign policy, and most of the people I know who support him do so largely for those reasons

Paul can't do a thing about drug policy - that needs the Congress.

In theory the part of foreign policy he could do without Congress is haul the troops back. Chalmers Johnson noted the +25% of the budget is the war machine part of the foreign policy. When those people loose their income stream - what becomes the unemployment rate? The knock off effects - Looking at your own situation....could you personally afford the lack of Government borrowing that is then spent on the war machine?

You may personally want peace - but what puts money in your pocket is when the power of Government creates a protected or forced market and your employer takes advantage of the market with an artificial barrier to entry.
posted by rough ashlar at 5:09 AM on February 2, 2012


we're more likely to be agitated by homonyms anyway, i think
posted by elizardbits at 5:09 AM on February 2, 2012 [8 favorites]


three blind mice: " It's much ado about 5% of the vote."

The issue is not whether Rand Paul could become President, but whether his hypothetical candidacy could give us another President George W. Bush. In this polarized environment, 5% of the vote could upset any election and skew the vote towards one candidate or another.

Since Libertarians generally vote Republican, a strong third party Libertarian candidate gaining 4-5% support could fracture the conservative vote and allow a Democratic candidate to be elected. But such situations are rarely predictable. Ask people who voted for Ralph Nader in 2000 as a protest vote how that worked out for them.
posted by zarq at 5:11 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


brennen: Ta-Nehisi Coates has written pretty compellingly on this dynamic.

I recommend to anyone who's interested in Ron Paul and racism read Ta-Nehisi Coates' blogposts on the matter. Here's one excerpt which I thought was particularly incisive about an issue that is often forgotten in the whole "but who else is talking about the War on Drugs" discussion:
Indeed, one of the quicker ways to delegitimize the critique of the War on Drugs, in the eyes of black people, would be making Ron Paul the prominent face of the movement. That black people even need to be swayed doesn't seem to occur to Paul's supporters who, admittedly, are unoriginal in viewing African-Americans as the slick paint-job on a pre-fab argument. But the fact is that black people are far from united in their feelings about the criminal justice system in general, and drug crimes in particular.
It's from the last in Coates' series of blogposts on Ron Paul's idea that the issues which led to the Civil War could've been solved by buying slaves and freeing them (links to the rest of the series at the bottom of the post).
posted by Kattullus at 5:16 AM on February 2, 2012 [13 favorites]


It's worth noting that the upcoming election will likely be decided by independents. Who are (statistically speaking) unlikely to vote for Gingrich. As Romney moves more to the right, polls show he's losing moderate independents who voted for Obama.

But a candidate like Paul (assuming he goes third party) could have a spoiler effect. Theoretically.
posted by zarq at 5:16 AM on February 2, 2012


The difficulty here is that there are no real Ron Paul supporters. There are people who support ending the overseas wars, ending the war on drugs, ending torture as an official government policy, who think the government shouldn't be able to assassinate citizens or jail them indefinitely, who think TARP was a betrayal of the American people, etc. and there no answer from the major parties on these issues.

So cry racist or homophone or communist and we can ignore these issues altogether.

Thinking that discussion of the beliefs of the candidate in one area is in some way equivalent to a discussion of policy positions in other areas is very odd, and is itself a rather ad hominem approach. Ideas are not good or bad just because Paul supports them or not, and aren't linked in that way.

Why do you imagine that criticism of links with the far right has any bearing on a conversation about the benefits or otherwise of TARP?
posted by jaduncan at 5:21 AM on February 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


As an aside, I think there's an essay to be written about why any accusation of a racial offense is so often reduced to 'Are you a racist?' It would be as if my wife said, 'You forgot to check Samori's homework' and I responded, 'I'm not a bad father.'

--Ta-Nehisi Coates
posted by shakespeherian at 5:21 AM on February 2, 2012 [26 favorites]


But a candidate like Paul (assuming he goes third party) could have a spoiler effect.

He's not going to run as a third party candidate: For Romney and Paul, a strategic alliance between establishment and outsider.
posted by peeedro at 5:24 AM on February 2, 2012


I keep being told not to let Paul's anti-imperialism blind me to all his other less-nice policies.

Mostly by the same people who, until this election season, kept telling me that no candidate is going to be perfect.
posted by Trurl at 5:32 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


So if I support any of the above, does that make me racist?

Go look at past unproductive Metafilter discussions. You'll find people who claim if a historically (or even presently) repressed race uses race as the criteria for their repression of another that's not race-ism. What's good for the goose isn't good for the gander.

If one were to take the racism threads gather the 'racism is bad' posters and then go look at the 10 billion Ants made this concrete ant town thread you might find one or 2 pure souls who *ARE* guiding lights as they are objecting to the harm to another living creature because they are different. These are about the only people who'd have the moral high ground to lecture others on oppression over differences - and as soon as they did they then run the risk of loosing that moral high ground. You'll find far more who claim they aren't racist or shout at others "Racist" yet express the willingness to have killed the ants - things that are not at all like them.

Racism is used as a talking point to score political points many times.
Look at the census worker hanged - that's racism thread. The official position after investigation was the death was a suicide. Yet that thread had plenty of 'them thar evil republicans/talk radio/other things I dont like' are the reason for the racism/are racist and by extension the death being talked about.

Are you a racist because of support for such? Given the many monkeys in front of many keyboards that represent Metafilter I'm sure one of 'em could gin up a "yes" and give arguments as to why it is so. Tell ya what, I'll say "Yes" so you can feel either good or indignation about being called a racist. Hope that helps.
posted by rough ashlar at 5:35 AM on February 2, 2012


I keep being told not to let Paul's anti-imperialism blind me to all his other less-nice policies.

Mostly by the same people who, until this election season, kept telling me that no candidate is going to be perfect.


I continue to harbor a faint, if dwindling, hope that some candidates will not hang out with Nazis.
posted by brennen at 5:47 AM on February 2, 2012 [31 favorites]


I continue to harbor a faint, if dwindling, hope that some candidates will not hang out with Nazis.

American Nazis (as distinguished from Third Reich Nazis), though certainly nasty, are responsible for less death and suffering in the world than many interests being hanged out with by the non-Paul candidates.
posted by Trurl at 5:52 AM on February 2, 2012


Ron Paul is not a libertarian.

- He is just fine with letting the states be (as libertarians would put it) the oppressors of people's rights.

- He consistently runs as a republican.

- He believes in the death penalty.

- He seems to not care about the liberty of anyone outside his borders. (Whether Texas or the US.)

A real libertarian would not do these things. A real libertarian would abhor any government interference in someone's rights, whether it is federal, state or local.

I don't know what Ron Paul's deal actually IS, but my guess is that he is slightly gullible. Like how you start to hang around with this guy you meet at an open mic night, because you both like to play guitar and smoke pot. Then you go back to that guy's house and find out that the dude is also into coke and having anal sex with his girlfriend for everyone to watch. (*) Except Ron never took the time to go back to his friends' houses to find out about their less tasteful passions.

I wouldn't vote for him because his negatives outweigh his positives. As much as I would like to live in a world where pot was legal, I really wouldn't want to give up things like civil rights. There are other, less baby-with-the-bathwater ways to increase people's liberty.

(*) This really happened to a friend of mine.
posted by gjc at 5:53 AM on February 2, 2012 [9 favorites]


American Nazis (as distinguished from Third Reich Nazis), though certainly nasty, are responsible for less death and suffering in the world than many interests being hanged out with by the non-Paul candidates.

So far, anyway. If given the opportunity, what would they do? That's a huge metric for me when choosing someone to vote for: what would they do if their power was unchecked?
posted by gjc at 5:55 AM on February 2, 2012 [8 favorites]


I keep being told not to let Paul's anti-imperialism blind me to all his other less-nice policies. Mostly by the same people who, until this election season, kept telling me that no candidate is going to be perfect.

Given that you've made it very clear in the past that you think voting is pointless, I don't think it matters what the fuck you think. But when your entire approach to politics is message board arguments, I can see the appeal of Ron Paul.
posted by octobersurprise at 5:59 AM on February 2, 2012 [10 favorites]


American Nazis (as distinguished from Third Reich Nazis), though certainly nasty, are responsible for less death and suffering in the world than many interests being hanged out with by the non-Paul candidates.

There is a measure of truth in this, but I'm afraid it doesn't outweigh the priority "don't hang out with Nazis" takes in my personal schema for assessing political figures. Because, I mean, you know, Nazis.
posted by brennen at 6:00 AM on February 2, 2012 [16 favorites]


Ron Paul's idea that the issues which led to the Civil War could've been solved by buying slaves and freeing them

It is alleged that a Roman leader when told about the work a steam engine could do he stated it wasn't gonna happen because 'what would the slaves do'? Slavery has an emotional component of control but also is about trying to get work done.

A slave, like a horse, represented an ability to do work from outside your own body and transportation. The bicycle helped on the transportation (and why it was scandalous for a women to have a bike) and the use of fossil fuels, electricity and the creation of social structures where you 'employ' someone to get that work done outside of your body is what works to get rid of slavery.

Buying someone's freedom doesn't make 'em free. The framework around one needs to change. Books which state "However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. " should not be allowed to circulate lest they support the institution of oppression. (Under the concept of 'anything that supports racism is racism - anything which supports slavery is slavery dontha know)

'Cept for the people who are sold into slavery each year. But such a thing can't happen in the Land of the Free and the home of the Braves - right?
posted by rough ashlar at 6:02 AM on February 2, 2012


There's no smoking gun here at all (so far, anyway). Too bad. I really wish there was direct evidence that American Third Party directors "have had conference calls with the Congressman and Presidential candidate" instead of just claims from racist assholes about how close to the campaign they are.

Seriously, that's a little weird. It's not hard to hijack the Anonymous name to smear an opposition candidate. I'm not saying that's what happened here, just saying if anyone actually finds the evidence this particular group of hackers announced they have, please be sure to post it.
posted by mediareport at 6:03 AM on February 2, 2012 [6 favorites]


In theory the part of foreign policy he could do without Congress is haul the troops back.

The President has far more power than Congress over foreign policy, to the point where the executive branch is pretty much free to do whatever they want. Sure Congress has a role, treaties, approving nominees to key foreign policy posts, regulating foreign commerce, etc. but the reality is, outside of purse strings, Congress can't really tell the executive how to conduct state-to-state affairs.
posted by IvoShandor at 6:05 AM on February 2, 2012


That said, Ron Paul is still a blithering idiot.
posted by IvoShandor at 6:06 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


...in the end McCarthy was right...

I understand that even the most wrong-headed people are inevitably right about some things, but am really curious as to what you think McCarthy was right about.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:06 AM on February 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ron Paul won't be elected president but he pretty much should be celebrated by anyone who didn't like the Iraq Wars and has qualms about the war on drugs.

No one should be celebrated because of their beliefs on two issues.
posted by IvoShandor at 6:08 AM on February 2, 2012 [8 favorites]


Congress can't really tell the executive how to conduct state-to-state affairs.

So the secret ACTA and followup even more secret TTA negotiations can be laid at the feet of the Executive?

And Congress has no right to ask for the ACTA to go in from of 'em?
posted by rough ashlar at 6:09 AM on February 2, 2012


I'm pretty convinced at this point that Ron Paul is the culmination of Americans' two dominant traits of ignorance and stubbornness. His entire campaign, and cultural existence, seems to be based on the fact that people who support him realize that to stop doing so and accept why they shouldn't would mean admitting how completely and utterly wrong and ignorant they are and that is literally the last thing on earth they would ever want to do.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:11 AM on February 2, 2012 [24 favorites]


Ron Paul isn't worth the time Metafilter spends yapping about the bastard. Yes, I said "bastard". He's a phony, completely. He doesn't believe in the most basic, fundamental tenant of libertarian thought, which is absolute self-ownership. In that concept there is no room at all for a woman to have other than absolute say over her body. And Paul doesn't believe in that!

I've been saying for awhile that no real libertarian could possibly be a member of the Republican party, after the Bush years. But that is weak, I'll admit. But then I found out he didn't believe in a woman's right over her own body. And I found this out arguing with a friend whom I myself converted to libertarianism, over 30 years ago. (And my friend is like, "Oh, abortion isn't a litmus test for me!", and I was like, "Ok. But it sure is for a libertarian!").
posted by Goofyy at 6:13 AM on February 2, 2012 [6 favorites]


No one should be celebrated because of their beliefs on two issues

Depressing as it is, when an American politician is publicly against the "kill people (or, failing that, throw them in jail for years) for no fucking reason" belief, that's rare enough to be worth recognizing.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 6:13 AM on February 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


This is probably a stupid question, but what's with the rainbow pony? Are Guy Fawkes masks out and unicorns in?
posted by Pastabagel at 6:15 AM on February 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


There's no smoking gun here at all (so far, anyway). Too bad.

Well, the original poster should show how you are wrong. Or any of the 'this supports my preconceived notion' posters could provide citations backing up the statement "Ron Paul has regularly met with many A3P members, even engaging in conference calls with their board of directors" then and explain how you are confused.
posted by rough ashlar at 6:15 AM on February 2, 2012


to stop doing so and accept why they shouldn't would mean admitting how completely and utterly wrong and ignorant they are and that is literally the last thing on earth they would ever want to do.

The same can be said for more than a few one issue Obama voters here on the Blue.
posted by rough ashlar at 6:16 AM on February 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


The same can be said for more than a few one issue Obama voters here on the Blue.

Who are as mythical as Ron Paul's support for minorities. Strawman much?

Depressing as it is, when an American politician is publicly against the "kill people (or, failing that, throw them in jail for years) for no fucking reason" belief, that's rare enough to be worth recognizing.

Except that he's not. He couldn't give two shits if someone who looks Mexican in Arizona was indefinitely detained or offed by "citizen enforcers," or if black people can't vote because they don't have 6 forms of picture ID and a sample of blood no older than 15 minutes, or if poor people can't pull themselves up by their bootstraps. That's all cool because the states made it so instead of that debbil fedrul gubmint (but letting the fed control gays marrying and women controlling their own bodies is cool too).

Ron Paul won't be elected president but he pretty much should be celebrated by anyone who didn't like the Iraq Wars and has qualms about the war on drugs.

There's so much wrong in this statement.

I keep being told not to let Paul's anti-imperialism blind me to all his other less-nice policies.

Mostly by the same people who, until this election season, kept telling me that no candidate is going to be perfect.


Since his "anti-imperialism" seems to extend to not giving a shit about what happens in other countries regardless of atrocity as well as not giving a shit about what bad juju goes down in the states as long as the feds have no say, those people are most certainly right.

American Nazis (as distinguished from Third Reich Nazis), though certainly nasty, are responsible for less death and suffering in the world than many interests being hanged out with by the non-Paul candidates.

Hey, they're less bad Nazis. When has that ever caused problems? Anyway, it's totes cool, since Paul is full of anti-imperialist awesomeness, so if the real Nazis or a modern day analog pop up somewhere else, we're not going to worry about what they're doing either. There's, like, twelve million reasons why we shouldn't, amirite?
posted by zombieflanders at 6:22 AM on February 2, 2012 [8 favorites]


You know it's a pretty sad state of affairs when the one candidate who wants to end the drug war is a racist, anti-immigrant idiot. And another candidate is a Wall Street guy born to privilege who knows nothing about how most people live, and who gives off the vague impression of being a rather dumb guy with an exceptionally good vocabulary. And the other guy is a serial hypocrit and born-again crank with nothing to say that you haven't heard from your bitter grandparents yelling at the TV.

It's a sad state of affairs when people in this thread are trying to give Paul cover for his ties to some neo-Nazi group, e.g. "American Nazis (as distinguished from Third Reich Nazis), though certainly nasty, are responsible for less death and suffering". It isn't that neo-Nazis have been violent or destructive. It's that Ron Paul attracts support from people broken enough to want to start or join neo-Nazi groups. It's one thing to be a racist, it's an entirely new and frightening level of crazy to want to define yourself based on it, and start a national organization to influence politics according to that agenda.

There have got to be better people out there, so what's wrong with the system that they are so unwilling to participate?
posted by Pastabagel at 6:33 AM on February 2, 2012 [15 favorites]


American Nazis (as distinguished from Third Reich Nazis), though certainly nasty, are responsible for less death and suffering in the world than many interests being hanged out with by the non-Paul candidates.

This is so wrong-headed that I don't even know where to start.
posted by empath at 6:35 AM on February 2, 2012 [12 favorites]


Since his "anti-imperialism" seems to extend to not giving a shit about what happens in other countries regardless of atrocity

And the people of Rwanda, how they acted to one another and the US reaction shows all the care the US has in foreign affairs. When there isn't some natural resource at stake that is.

Hey, they're less bad Nazis.

Yea, these are Green
posted by rough ashlar at 6:36 AM on February 2, 2012


Actually, I do know where to start. Charles Manson was responsible for less death and suffering in the world than LBJ, but that wouldn't have made him a better president.
posted by empath at 6:37 AM on February 2, 2012 [20 favorites]


Given that you've made it very clear in the past that you think voting is pointless, I don't think it matters what the fuck you think. But when your entire approach to politics is message board arguments, I can see the appeal of Ron Paul.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:59 AM on February 2 [2 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]


I think this is going to be my go-to copypaste response to the next libertarian who decides my facebook wall looks like a nice hill to die on.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 6:38 AM on February 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


so what's wrong with the system that they are so unwilling to participate?

Perhaps material for a FPP?
posted by rough ashlar at 6:38 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is probably a stupid question, but what's with the rainbow pony? Are Guy Fawkes masks out and unicorns in?

The brony thing really got its start on the chans, which is where Anonymous is from, more or less.

I'm not into MLP, but I did laugh my ass off at the saluting pony.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:42 AM on February 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


And the people of Rwanda, how they acted to one another and the US reaction shows all the care the US has in foreign affairs. When there isn't some natural resource at stake that is.

Are you honestly comparing Clinton's idiocy over Rwanda to Paul's entire policy position? Yes, the US doesn't have the best track record here, but I can't see Ron Paul sending aid to post-Fukushima Japan, or Banda Aceh in 2005, and I'm damn sure he would have done less with NOLA after Katrina than even Bush did (although Texas would have gotten a ton of sweet fed aid money).
posted by zombieflanders at 6:43 AM on February 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


This is so wrong-headed that I don't even know where to start.

It's not really right, but it's totally wrong-headed, either. It's only wrong-headed in the sense that American Nazis lack any form of real power, and so they have not had the same opportunities that non-Nazi American politicos have had in terms of putting their views into action. That's a major difference, but at the same time, as far as weighing human suffering goes, the comparison between American Nazis and, say, the engineers of the Iraq War seems more "The Walrus and The Carpenter" than not.
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:44 AM on February 2, 2012


in the end McCarthy was right

Joseph or Eugene?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:47 AM on February 2, 2012 [6 favorites]


I keep being told not to let Paul's anti-imperialism blind me to all his other less-nice policies.

Mostly by the same people who, until this election season, kept telling me that no candidate is going to be perfect.


There's an interesting question here: how obviously and severely racist would a candidate who was otherwise perfect for me have to be before I could no longer vote for him? Hell, let's not even make him perfect, let's just say that he ticked my two or three most important policy boxes and ticked them loudly and without reservation. Is the threshold Internet rumors of racist joke-telling? Support for policies that may hurt minorities unfairly? Hanging out with racists? Support for policies that are explicitly racist? Standing up on a stage and proclaiming a belief in white supremacy? Demanding to be inaugurated in KKK regalia? Openly advocating for a return to slavery? Becoming President and ordering the execution of all non-white Americans?

For me, I'd probably drop my vote within the first few and definitely before open declarations of white supremacy, but I suppose opinions can differ. I do put a premium on the President's apparent morality than most other elected officials since they represent the US to the world and also have a fairly high amount of discretionary power.
posted by Copronymus at 6:49 AM on February 2, 2012


in the end McCarthy was right

Joseph or Eugene?


Jenny.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:51 AM on February 2, 2012 [8 favorites]


Are you honestly comparing Clinton's idiocy over Rwanda

And are you honestly claiming the US of A should spend time intervening in other nations?

How's that working out in Afghanistan
posted by rough ashlar at 6:51 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Jenny.

Well, if we wedge the Autism-is-caused-by-vaccines conspiracy thing into this thread on top of Anonymous, Ron Paul, McCarthyism, and Nazis, it will surely go completely non-linear. Somebody want to do fluoride, while we're at it?
posted by brennen at 6:55 AM on February 2, 2012 [10 favorites]


And are you honestly claiming the US of A should spend time intervening in other nations?

Dude, we live on the planet Earth, not the planet America. So yes, it's both impossible to not have dealings with other nations, nor is it wrong to help nations or people being hurt by nations. I'm not buying into any "fuck the rest of the world" mania.

How's that working out in Afghanistan

That's not a result of intervention itself, it's the idiocy of those who put that particular piece into action. But go ahead and conflate helping disaster-torn countries with the bumbling of a Connecticut Confederate, I'm not the one who looks like a dick.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:57 AM on February 2, 2012 [12 favorites]


I don't think this is good enough evidence that he himself is a racist, etc. It is probably more like choosing a pact/working relationship with the devil.

No funcational difference.

I too am disappointed about the lack of a smoking gun. Ties are ties and that's interesting, but this isn't going to blow anything wide open. Which is a bummer, because I would dearly love to go slather this all over Facebook to give my Paul-brainwashed friends another think - especially the one who is also a big fanboy for Anonymous. But you can't do too much with a lot of "according to...according to..." unless you can see the data yourself, or at least have it independently verified.

It's just not enough to make a good dent - another twig on the fire, but not an accelerant - and also, it's frustrating to have to parse their wandering prose to gather a summation of the facts.
posted by Miko at 7:02 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


nor is it wrong to help nations or people being hurt by nations.

So you are OK then if China or Russia decides to step in when one Nation State is under attack from another Nation State?

Say overflights by drones? Or embargos? (violation of air space and embargos have been called acts of war in the past)

it's the idiocy of those who put that particular piece into action.

Right, and there is no way to stand up and say 'hey, lets stop the idiocy'.
posted by rough ashlar at 7:02 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Anonymous with the bucket... and the foul!
posted by nathancaswell at 7:05 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


But until someone hacks his own email and reveals his private thinking, what they've done here is purely circumstantial and smeary.

Too true, polymodus. If only we had some testimony from Rep. Paul, or perhaps a signed statement, or signed monthly published pamphlet explaining his world views... that he would later deny knowledge of, when convenient.

Sadly, all we have to go on is corroborative evidence. Piles and piles of it.

And the racist pamphlets he printed under his name.
posted by IAmBroom at 7:06 AM on February 2, 2012 [14 favorites]


Ron Paul won't be elected president but he pretty much should be celebrated by anyone who didn't like the Iraq Wars and has qualms about the war on drugs.

I can walk down the street and find dozens of people who don't/didn't like the Iraq War and have qualms about the war on drugs and all of them have roughly the same chance to be President that Ron Paul does? Should I celebrate them, too?

I think what I find most hilarious (and exasperating) about the demands to overlook all of Ron Paul's little foibles because of his "qualms" about wars and drug laws is the implication that if I did overlook his flaws, he would do something about either. But he hasn't and won't, so I don't see why I should give him a pass on anything.

(My favorite moment in the Florida debates was when Paul promised to continue federally funding the Everglades Preservation project out of one side of his mouth while promising to cut a trillion dollars from the federal budget out the other. Ron Paul can do that, and throw in ponies for everyone at the same time, because the only way he's ever visiting the White House is with a guest pass.)
posted by octobersurprise at 7:06 AM on February 2, 2012 [7 favorites]


Thinking that discussion of the beliefs of the candidate in one area is in some way equivalent to a discussion of policy positions in other areas is very odd, and is itself a rather ad hominem approach.

And declaring racism with conflicting evidence isn't ad hominem? We have a very different reading of this.

Inasmuch as it is impossible to truly know anyone's beliefs, it is a meaningless point of inquiry. There isn't a single soul who doesn't harbor some racist positions. As long as it doesn't manifest in policy, like Jim Crow laws, it reeks of a witch hunt.

I'd be fairly certain that all sorts of people with all manner of racist ideas have donated to all the candidates, but I question if American Third Party is support Paul because he is supposedly some secret racist or if he is the only candidate getting airtime that speaks to their concern of empire, globalization, and worker's rights?

That is the problem with these guilt-by-association polemics. Gasp! several people have the same concerns as neo-nazis. They even vote Republican!

But scrutinizing these weak associations is better sport than discussing how the candidates voted on TARP.

I'm certain a full accounting from all the other candidates about who their supporters are, what groups they belong to, and a proper vetting of all their volunteers will be forthcoming, with refund checks issued to those who don't pass muster.

I'm even certain every one here has inquired about such.
posted by quintessencesluglord at 7:10 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


rough ashlar: Paul can't do a thing about drug policy - that needs the Congress.

Ahem. Also.
posted by IAmBroom at 7:15 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I just wanted to drop in and say that Ron Paul sponsored a H.J. Res. 46, cutting off 14th Amendment birthright citizenship. It naturally died in the subcommittee on civil rights.

Had such a law existed when I was born, I would have been deported. This is why I do not want Ron Paul anywhere near the presidency.
posted by brownpau at 7:16 AM on February 2, 2012 [22 favorites]


I question if American Third Party is support Paul because he is supposedly some secret racist or if he is the only candidate getting airtime that speaks to their concern of empire, globalization, and worker's rights?

"Say what you will about National Socialism The American Third Party, dude; at least it's an ethos."
posted by octobersurprise at 7:17 AM on February 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


The difficulty here is that there are no real Ron Paul supporters. There are people who support ending the overseas wars, ending the war on drugs, ending torture as an official government policy, who think the government shouldn't be able to assassinate citizens or jail them indefinitely, who think TARP was a betrayal of the American people, etc. and there no answer from the major parties on these issues.

quintessencesluglord, by analogy there are no supporters of any candidate, outside of his or her own family. There are just people who back candidates because of their stands on issues! Or, you could be completely wrong, as the fervent Ron Paul supporters that I know prove.
posted by IAmBroom at 7:17 AM on February 2, 2012


damn! that's what I get for going for the easy jokes.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:18 AM on February 2, 2012


This may boost his support. It wasn't a secret that libertarians were in favor rolling back the clock on human rights progress, so his supporters aren't deluded. In the end, liberals typically oppose war, and libertarians energetically oppose liberals, so it never was about foreign policy.
posted by Brian B. at 7:19 AM on February 2, 2012


There are just people who back candidates because of their stands on issues!

I have to disagree with that. As a canvasser I learned directly that a large chunk of "independent"/swing voters are personality voters. That is, they don't look so much at issues, they gravitate toward or away from the way candidates come off to them. In fact, they can often be found to support candidates whose views are opposite to some of their own - but they just find the person more "likeable," "trustworthy," or other soft value.
posted by Miko at 7:20 AM on February 2, 2012 [8 favorites]


I want to know more about Neo-Nazi white supremacists going out for Thai food because that's their favorite spot.

I've seen white supremacists on TV rail on about how ethnic food is disgusting, but white supremacists lately seem to be unable to extricate themselves from the influences of the cultures they hate. I remember reading a "white nationalist" message board years ago (this kind of thing was pretty interesting to me for a while), and I discovered that they:

- Had plenty of usernames referencing heroic figures from cultures other than European ones
- Were into martial arts of non-European origin, many tied to Asian cultures in unignorable ways
- Were into lots of bands with Jewish musicians in them (especially Tool)

There'd always be one or two hardliners that would call them out, and they'd just be brushed off. They'd make no effort whatsoever to reconcile any possible hypocrisy. It was frustrating to observe, but oddly encouraging, in a way. It made me think that they could grow out their racism in a few years, maybe.
posted by ignignokt at 7:23 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


There are just people who back candidates because of their stands on issues!

I have to disagree with that. As a canvasser I learned directly that a large chunk of "independent"/swing voters are personality voters. That is, they don't look so much at issues, they gravitate toward or away from the way candidates come off to them. In fact, they can often be found to support candidates whose views are opposite to some of their own - but they just find the person more "likeable," "trustworthy," or other soft value.

OK, true, Miko. My real point is that someone who supports Ron Paul for issue A or stand B is a supporter, and to argue elsewise is just semantic bickering.
posted by IAmBroom at 7:26 AM on February 2, 2012


"it doesn't count if" is practically his campaign slogan by now. Maybe it could be the title of his book.
posted by Artw at 7:31 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Can somebody point me to a direct link to the actual damaging evidence? Maybe I'm missing something but all I've turned up so far is a Pirasec press release and summaries thereof. Thanks in advance.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 7:36 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I wish Anonymous was more succinct.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:40 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


This reminds me of a political argument in Philip K. Dick's book 'The Man in the High Castle'. (It is an alternate history where Germany and Japan won the second world war.) This one fellow says something like it really doesn't matter how evil the blackshirts are because they have so very little power, while the wermacht, although apparently a group of much nicer fellows, cause several orders of magnitude more destruction because they are so powerful.
posted by bukvich at 7:41 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Trurl: "American Nazis (as distinguished from Third Reich Nazis), though certainly nasty, are responsible for less death and suffering in the world than many interests being hanged out with by the non-Paul candidates."

Who gives a shit what Stormfront's fucking body count is?

They should be kept from power at all costs. For a politician, actively supporting them in any way or incorporating their members into leadership positions in one's campaign should result in automatic political suicide. We've seen what happens when those poisonous, hatemongers come to power.

That said, there doesn't seem to be any evidence that has happened here, in Paul's campaign. Is there?
posted by zarq at 7:44 AM on February 2, 2012 [9 favorites]


It's worth noting that the upcoming election will likely be decided by independents.

Probably not.

Most independents aren't really independents. They're just partisans who have either not registered with their party, or who pretend to be independent to interviewers. When you drill down a bit further and when you look at their behavior, about 2/3 of independents are "partisan leaners" who are just as partisan as your basic Democrat or Republican. The other third are mostly apathetic, idiots, or both.

Seriously. Pick your measure of civic virtue -- caring about who wins, turning out to vote, basic knowledge of the American political system, whatever. The few people who are actually real independents are at the bottom.

It's certainly true that very close elections can be swung by real independents. But it's hard to say that independents do or don't want something, or like a particular thing, because the only thing that unites them is that they don't care enough to pick a side, or that they don't know enough to pick a side, or both. There's no there there, just a roiling sea of chaotic opinion.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:47 AM on February 2, 2012 [5 favorites]


More of the leak info (not necessary Ron Paul related)
posted by what's her name at 7:47 AM on February 2, 2012


Although our football teams are much, much better. So much better.

Whoa whoa whoa. Let's not turn this discussion into something really contentious now.
posted by kmz at 7:48 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


From the Anon release:
Aside from us releasing his [Jamie Kelso's] information such as his social security number, address, resume and private discussions, we also heard some folks went on a joyride with Kelso's credit card and made some lulzy purchases, including sex toy purchases and making donations to the Anti Defamation League and many others. Oops.
Oops.
posted by Skygazer at 7:50 AM on February 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'll tell you one thing, though- he went to war to fight Nazis. He didn't meet them for Thai food.

To be fair, there weren't a lot of places one could get good Thai food c. 1942. Even the authentic places sort of sucked.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:51 AM on February 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


To be fair, there weren't a lot of places one could get good Thai food c. 1942.

Now that's the real crime!
posted by shakespeherian at 7:52 AM on February 2, 2012


Chemtrails, sheeple!
posted by Threeway Handshake at 7:57 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Inasmuch as it is impossible to truly know anyone's beliefs, it is a meaningless point of inquiry. There isn't a single soul who doesn't harbor some racist positions. As long as it doesn't manifest in policy, like Jim Crow laws, it reeks of a witch hunt.

I'm as irritated by endless parsing of True Intentions and Right Thought as anyone - it's one of my least favorite tendencies on the web generally. That is not what's happening here. People keep noticing that A) Paul has associated himself with some really sketchily racist people and ideas, and B) it is entirely consistent with mainstream liberal thought in the US to read his overall policy positions as bad for minorities.

Maybe you disagree. But it's not a meaningless question.
posted by brennen at 8:00 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


The frightening thing is that you can meet with NeoNazis and blatant racists and still be one of the more reasonable Republican leadership candidates.
posted by srboisvert at 8:06 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Paul is batshit crazy. His historical history of the United States is twisted beyond recognition. If he thinks the Civil Rights Amendment is unconstitutional or education is not a right, just image what would occur in this bizarre world.

I remember when I was @ the Republican debate and listening to his outdated, flawed views on economic matters and worse yet the idea of the "community" providing the roles the government currently holds. The applause of his comment of paying doctors with chickens and let people just die with out health care was simply abhorrent.

Even worse, the idea of isolation. Yes the US needs to scale back on military expenditures but the idea of just packing up all of our bases, and going back to 1880s is simply not possible.

My friend was trying to make a case for Paul, and everytime I hear a "libertarian" or Paul supporter, I am left shaking my head at the ignorance expelled. Its as if these individuals have never studied economics, history, or world affairs.

Granted, I am a peace loving, pot smoking, liberal and do think the drug war should end, that the United States needs to stop warring around the world. But Pauls concepts of this issue are far different from what I think of on these topics. He has great sound bytes from those stances, but people are only looking on the suface of the words, not digging deeper into what Paul actually desires.
posted by handbanana at 8:06 AM on February 2, 2012 [8 favorites]


Adventurer: "I say this as a person who grew up in Oklahoma, where the government is even worse. Although our football teams are much, much better. So much better."

"How 'bout them Hogs?"
posted by symbioid at 8:10 AM on February 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's disheartening to see so many people on the internet defending Ron Paul, even before this stuff happened. I get that there are some positions he holds that are popular on the internet, but for god's sake, there has to be a line somewhere, right? Read those newsletters. Even if you have somehow convinced yourself that he didn't write them and had NO IDEA what was being published under his name for years on end (a disqualifying amount on incompetence in itself), everybody seems to forget that when stories about them started to be written, he actually defended the statements in the letters.

A very good paragraph from Ta-Nehisi Coates:
Racism, like all forms of bigotry, is what it claims to oppose--victimology. The bigot is never to blame. Always is he besieged--by gays and their radical agenda, by women and their miniskirts, by fleet-footed blacks. It is an ideology of "not my fault." It is not Ron Paul's fault that people with an NAACP view of the world would twist his words. It is not Ron Paul's fault that his newsletter trafficked in racism. It is not Ron Paul's fault that he allowed people to author that racism in his name. It is anonymous political aids and writers, who now cowardly refuse to own their words. There's always someone else to blame--as long as it isn't Ron Paul, if only because it never was Ron Paul.
Sometimes you can be wrong about a person. Don't double down, admit that you misjudged him and move on. Everybody makes mistakes.
posted by gkhan at 8:31 AM on February 2, 2012 [13 favorites]


Yeah I think people who are like "oh, neo-nazis, NBD" are generally people who they don't want to see dead and/or completely stripped of their equal place in society.

I mean, am I wrong on this one? Because I have a pretty visceral reaction to people who literally think that I am subhuman, and it's not "well, they're not REAL Nazis."
posted by the young rope-rider at 8:32 AM on February 2, 2012 [18 favorites]


even before this stuff happened.

I'm still waiting to find out what "this stuff" is. I would love a direct link to the communications in question outlining the conference calls or work of neonazis within Paul's campaign. I've looked at some of the emails and searched through the private message page and thus far I've come up with some neonazi types talking about attending Ron Paul speaking engagements and hoping to speak with some of his campaign operatives in other states about unspecified topics.

Is there anything here, or is this just a big pile of innuendo?
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 8:33 AM on February 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


I mean, am I wrong on this one?

I was thinking the same thing.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:34 AM on February 2, 2012


I mean, am I wrong on this one?

Nope.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:35 AM on February 2, 2012


So when this kind of thing came out in his newsletter years ago, that wasn't good enough? Oh, but we can't see his REAL inner thoughts, just the ones he sends in his name to his followers. Maybe is true, private thinking is totally different from what he sent out in his newsletters.
So I suppose that when people send donations to Amnesty International under dick Cheney's name, that means he's not really a bad guy? Or whatever?

I don't know what it is about these racist newsletters that causes people to be unable to think clearly. If he knowingly approved the posts, then obviously he's culpable. If he didn't, then he's not. And people keep saying that the articles were signed as being written by him, but that doesn't seem to be actually the case - It's like saying Stuff written by Andrew Sullivan is actually written by some entity called "The Daily Beast".

Ron Paul might be a racist. You could argue that the fact he would hire people with these views to work on his newsletter is evidence of that. But a little logical consistency is not going to kill anyone here.

No one likes it when republicans "logically" twist the truth to the point where it's, like, not actually true. Like Newt Gingrich saying Obama supports "infanticide" since he supports medically necessary late term abortions, or whatever. The fact that you can create a logical contortion such that, depending on how you define your terms late term abortion is a form of infanticide - that does not make it a true statement to say "Obama supports infanticide"

It's the same way with this here "sent" is being twisted to mean "set up an organization that ended up sending these out" and "under his name" is "in a newsletter with his name on the masthead" but not necessarily under his byline
There is a difference, especially when you take into account that racism is a spectrum - every single white person who's ever used a racial slur isn't a card-carrying member of Stormfront. David Duke was an honest-to-goodness KKK Grand Whatever. Newt Gingrich has shown himself to be an unstable sociopath in virtually every other area of his life and career. Ron Paul is a life-long devotee of sociopathy institutionalized as politics - libertarianism.
Or what about Robert Byrd? This is a guy was a official in the Klan as well. Lots of democrats defended him after that, and why not?

The problem here is the ridiculous double standard. Byrd, who was a member of the Klan in the 50s is OK, but this circumstantial evidence of racism against Paul is brought up like it's damming proof.

There is a huge contrast with Gingrich, who IMO, is a huge racist today in terms of his behavior and statements (which, of course, is all that matters).
he actually defended the statements in the letters.
Link doesn't work. I Googleed your quote and came up with this post from Andrew Sullivan who writes:
This issue comes up again and again. Paul has taken two stands on it: the first was to take formal responsibility, even though he claims he didn't know about the contents; the second was to insist he didn't write them or know who did. Some of his early responses cited by TNC do seem defensive and cranky. But the notion that he has been actively seeking victimology in all this or that he is defined by these isues seems unfair to me. I think the papers (and comments almost two decades ago) should definitely be considered, in context, when judging his candidacy, and not because the neocons are determined to smear anyone challenging their catastrophic record. But compared with Rick Perry's open bigotry in his ads, or Bachmann's desire to "cure" gays, or the rhetoric around "illegals" in this campaign, these ugly newsletters are very, very old news. To infer from them that Paul is a big racist is a huge subjective leap I leave to others more clairvoyant than myself.

But ask yourself: you've now heard this guy countless times; he's been in three presidential campaigns; he's not exactly known for self-editing. And nothing like this has ever crossed his lips in public. You have to make a call on character. Compared with the rest on offer, compared with the money-grubbing lobbyist, Gingrich, or the say-anything Romney, or that hate-anyone Bachmann, I've made my call.
Lots of partisan democrats were heaping praise on Sullivan when he was defending Obama the other day. Of course I think Andrew Sullivan is a complete idiot, and he's also defended actual racists like Charles Murray, so he's hardly a good guide to who is and isn't "not racist"
posted by delmoi at 8:37 AM on February 2, 2012


Its as if these individuals have never studied economics, history, or world affairs.

So fiat money has a great success record, inflation isn't defined as the expansion of the money supply, and foreign interventionism is welcome?

He has great sound bytes from those stances

So have others who run for office. Are any of the others going to be able to deliver? Have they tried to deliver? Paul can't even get a 'lets have an audit of the corporation who runs the money system' to happen. What makes one think he'd be more effective as Pres?

just packing up all of our bases, and going back to 1880s is simply not possible.

In the 1850's the US of A was using 'gunboat diplomacy' in Japan. So don't worry, the show of military force will still be an option in an 1880's version. (How about the way the sovereign nations within America have been treated - how's that work'n out for them?)

1880's will avoid things like sunburn missiles that can sink your battleship. Not to mention cheap drones to attack your very expensive floating gunboats. Or high flying drones who hit your funerals/weddings/leadership. You'll like the 1880's - there is all the oil to look forward to.

Perhaps the way the US of A has projected military power is just not gonna be possible in a post drone world.

Packing up and going home - that is what England did. How did the Pound do after that? Why would the US Dollar be different if the US military packed up and went home?
posted by rough ashlar at 8:38 AM on February 2, 2012


Is there anything here, or is this just a big pile of innuendo?
Yeah, anyone can claim to be "Anonymous". There have been duds before. "Anonymous" claimed to have hacked Bank of America, a while ago but their data dump turned out just to be a scrape of their website.
posted by delmoi at 8:39 AM on February 2, 2012


Perhaps not surprisingly, reddit's /r/ronpaul has already started trying to justify this:
posted by deathpanels at 8:39 AM on February 2, 2012


Perhaps not surprisingly, reddit's /r/ronpaul has already started trying to justify this:

Their take on the "evidence" at issue is in accord with mine at this point, and I'm not a Ron Paul supporter. Is there anything here? Thus far we have Metafilter doing its best 2 minutes hate on the basis of....what, exactly? A purported scandal that suits existing beliefs?
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 8:41 AM on February 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


Thus far we have Metafilter doing its best 2 minutes hate on the basis of....what, exactly? A purported scandal that suits existing beliefs?

That's how things go 'round here. Go dig up the old thread on the 'lynched' census worker. Word 'lynched' is used, buttons pushed, off on the various talking points. Didn't matter that the details were thin. The 2 minute hate had to happen and didn't matter that the gruel was thin - there was scenery to chew.

The release by 'anonymous' will get a whole bunch more people looking at this particular pile of rocks and perhaps someone will come up with meaningful connections. Time will tell.

At least the Washington Post link about Romney/Paul was worth the FPP/discussion. So thanks for that little bit of light.
posted by rough ashlar at 8:51 AM on February 2, 2012


Don't double down, admit that you misjudged him and move on. Everybody makes mistakes.

Doubling down is what libertarianism is all about; the followers are the exact people who get second and third and fourth chances in society, so their anecdotal experience justifies doubling down.
posted by bendybendy at 8:53 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Rough asher,

Inflation is not necessarily a bad thing, its bound to happen when money sources fluctuate, which currency is a a complex issue involving modifying policy, being a market within itself and being the largest reserve currency. It is suppose to be able to fluctuate.

A gold standard is a failed economic policy, plagues with its own set of problems. It can be manipulated by countries easily, by hording or flooding the market, it can constrict and limit growth, and has industrial applications.

The Fed is not a corporation, its a monetary institution. One that should act independent due to the politicial nature of our legislative bodies as well as our executive branch. Should it be more transparent in its reports and actions? Yes, I wouldn't argue against that but it does report to our legislators.

I can't argue with the usage of drones, or how we've treated US territories, as I believe we haven't followed our own ideals of American policy.

And the 1880s reference was more of a generalization of a backwoods view of what Pail desires.
posted by handbanana at 8:57 AM on February 2, 2012


Ideal Metafilter: Don't double down, admit that you misjudged him and move on. Everybody makes mistakes.
posted by RolandOfEld at 9:00 AM on February 2, 2012


* regarding my last comment: remove 'him' for correct, universal application.
posted by RolandOfEld at 9:03 AM on February 2, 2012


The way American politics have been going, this will probably just legitimize him. That's some real grassroots crazy right there.
posted by Stagger Lee at 9:05 AM on February 2, 2012


Their take on the "evidence" at issue is in accord with mine at this point, and I'm not a Ron Paul supporter. Is there anything here? Thus far we have Metafilter doing its best 2 minutes hate on the basis of....what, exactly? A purported scandal that suits existing beliefs?

I spent some time scanning through more of the e-mail. I will concede that what I've read of this so far looks pretty tenuous. Aside from the assertion that a couple of these guys are working in the campaign (I'd like to know if that's true), there are claims of conference calls and meetings from Kelso, but it's kind of hard to evaluate what that means. Especially in the context of so much obvious crazy. A handshake with some random at a campaign event is a far different animal from actually sitting down in a room and having serious discussions.

On the other hand, it's not like anything here would make me feel good about a particular campaign or candidate, and it's entirely consistent with the observation that holy shit does Ron Paul have some baggage on issues of race.
posted by brennen at 9:10 AM on February 2, 2012


The Fed is not a corporation, its a monetary institution.

Who owns it?

A gold standard is a failed economic policy

So is printing notes without backing. The Continental and the Nation that "banked" on it didn't do so well and was a reason for the 'nothing but gold and silver' line in the 2nd go-round document.

What happens if the Fed fails? A 3rd go at a founding document?

It can be manipulated by countries easily, by hording or flooding the market, it can constrict and limit growth,

And the present system has shown not to have those flaws?
posted by rough ashlar at 9:13 AM on February 2, 2012


And the 1880s reference was more of a generalization of a backwoods view of what Pail desires.

A better backwoods generalization is that he wants massive global rearmament, widespread nuclear proliferation, more regional wars that kill millions of people, and a far higher likelihood of global spasms of violence on the scale of the Great War or WW2 (but with more than one nuclear power). Because those are the results if he somehow got his way.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:14 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


So much for getting a piece of that AIPAC funding...
posted by Renoroc at 9:15 AM on February 2, 2012



I spent some time scanning through more of the e-mail. I will concede that what I've read of this so far looks pretty tenuous. Aside from the assertion that a couple of these guys are working in the campaign (I'd like to know if that's true), there are claims of conference calls and meetings from Kelso, but it's kind of hard to evaluate what that means.


Meeting famous-ish white supremacist organizers is a lot more damning when it's within the context of past criticisms about racist news letters and policies, and entirely consistent with the dude's statements and politics.
posted by Stagger Lee at 9:16 AM on February 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Pope Guilty: Here's what they did to one of the websites they hacked. That's Google cached content, and I have no idea how to provide a link that won't die within a week or so.

I tried to print the site, but the background images were a mess. For posterity, here's the text of the page (PDF), the background image, and the logo at the top of the page. There is also a link to BLACK BLOCK vs Skinheads.flv on YouTube (weird video with Rome Wasn't Built In A Day by Morcheeba)
posted by filthy light thief at 9:18 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


There are flaws no doubt, as there arre to any system. The difference being what tools in the toolbox you have to address these issues. Gold lacks the ability.
As I said the Fed is independent, who owns it? No body but out nation.

Has fiat currancy had its fair share of problems? Yes, we learn from these mistakes and make adjustmetns to avoid such problems in the future (hopefully).

You do realize gold is a finite element, with there only being about an olympic sized swimming pool worth of it when melted down in the entire world. Money has the ability to fluctuate to the needs of the economy and isn't limited by the amount of a particular element.

I don't know why I am arguing with a Paulite(I am not going to change your mind) but seriously study economic theories besides Austrian economics.
posted by handbanana at 9:22 AM on February 2, 2012


in the end McCarthy was right
Joseph or Eugene?


Cormac.
posted by spaltavian at 9:23 AM on February 2, 2012 [11 favorites]


Aside from the assertion that a couple of these guys are working in the campaign (I'd like to know if that's true), there are claims of conference calls and meetings from Kelso

I have no doubt that there are people working on the campaign. Just like there have been 'participation' in a conference call or 2.

But I'm rather certain if I was on the Presidential Google + hangout the other day, spent time on a listen-call in line with Obama re-election (if there is such) , was at a couple of rallies, handed out Obama fliers - it would be true that I've met him a few times, engaged in a conference call, and even work on the campaign - from the position of the Obama machine It'd be "Who?"

Even being an 'invitation only' event doesn't mean someone you don't want in gets in. Look at the George HW Bush event that was 'screened' and the one guy gets in and whipped out a bible quote.

Hopefully actual reporting will happen to come up with actual linkage. Reporting like the 'I'm an ex-staffer and I'm on the record that Paul said the stuff in the newsletter to play to the people who were buying/donating to the newsletter. '
posted by rough ashlar at 9:23 AM on February 2, 2012


The best thing about Ron Paul is that his supporters are just fine with Nazis running the government as long as they don't have to pay federal income tax on their $27k/year IT phone support/sandwich artist salaries. Their idea of freedom is having enough money for rent, soda, and MMO subscriptions.
posted by a_girl_irl at 9:24 AM on February 2, 2012 [6 favorites]


Sometimes you can be wrong about a person. Don't double down, admit that you misjudged him and move on. Everybody makes mistakes.

Wait, who are we talking about now?
posted by Trurl at 9:25 AM on February 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Hopefully actual reporting will happen to come up with actual linkage. Reporting like the 'I'm an ex-staffer and I'm on the record that Paul said the stuff in the newsletter to play to the people who were buying/donating to the newsletter. '
posted by rough ashlar at 9:23 AM on February 2


That's exactly what happened. He approved what appeared in his race-baiting newsletters that said RON PAUL right on the fucking cover.
posted by a_girl_irl at 9:28 AM on February 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


I don't know what it is about these racist newsletters that causes people to be unable to think clearly. If he knowingly approved the posts, then obviously he's culpable. If he didn't, then he's not.

Look, this is bullshit. The newsletters were published under his masthead. They were published by a company that he owns that was run by family members and close friends.

Either he knew the content of those newsletters and didn't think it was that bad (as he originally claimed), and therefore if not racist then he is a craven opportunist who will use racist language to promote himself to racists (even worse!)

OR, he did not know the content of those newsletters and is thus a complete and total moron for letting people publish whatever they like under his masthead with no editorial control.

Really, I can't understand how "he's a complete and total moron so let's keep talking about him on the national stage" is an attractive argument.
posted by muddgirl at 9:31 AM on February 2, 2012 [23 favorites]


Sometimes you can be wrong about a person. Don't double down, admit that you misjudged him and move on. Everybody makes mistakes.

Wait, who are we talking about now?


Hitler.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:33 AM on February 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm guessing Godwin's Law doesn't apply in this thread right? Probably not... Ok.
posted by RolandOfEld at 9:37 AM on February 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


If he knowingly approved the posts, then obviously he's culpable. If he didn't, then he's not.

Re: the newsletters, there's more than one way to be culpable. Ron Paul either wrote them and believed what he was writing, which makes him a racist, or he permitted someone to write them under his name, which makes him a panderer (and possibly a racist), or else he was entirely ignorant of what was being written under his name, which makes him merely incredibly obtuse. Personally, I think he simply saw the newsletters as good business. He gave the rubes what they wanted and took their money.

Which maybe isn't the worst crime in the world, and maybe, if the newsletters were the only blot on an otherwise progressive record and Ron Paul really could end war, one I could overlook. But they aren't and he won't, so I don't know why he gets the extreme benefit of the doubt.

However, to be scrupulously fair, solely on the evidence of the IBTimes story, it looks more like The American Third Position party vigorously pursued Ron Paul, than that he vigorously pursued them. Which, how surprising! It isn't news exactly that nutballs like Ron Paul.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:38 AM on February 2, 2012


As I said the Fed is independent

Really?

, who owns it? No body but out nation
Via wikipedia
A member bank is a private institution and owns stock in its regional Federal Reserve Bank.

Others seem to think the banks own the stock.

You do realize gold is a finite element, with there only being about an olympic sized swimming pool worth of it when melted down in the entire world.
Once again wikipedia:
The United States Bullion Depository holds 4,577 metric tons (5046 tons) of gold bullion (147.2 million oz. troy). This is roughly 2.5% of all the gold ever refined throughout human history.
All of the gold in the depository, if pure, could form a cube 20.3 feet (6.19 m) on a side—a volume of 237 m³. In comparison, all the gold ever refined in history (an estimated 165,000 tonnes) is about 40 times greater
wiki.answers.com
Olympic size pools measure: 50 metres long, 25 metres wide, and a minimum of 2 metres deep.
50*25*2 =2500

So 10(ish) Fort Knox-i gets you one pool. Holding only 2.5% of the REFINED gold doesn't quite get ya to the "fact" of there being only one Olympic sized pool of gold in the world. Unless you are changing the depth.

Now a different poster was complaining about a lack of command of history. History can be debated and changed - because it turns out the narrative presented as "fact" just ain't a "Fact".

So a 'fact' like The Federal Reserve is owned by the nation may be no more of a "fact" than the United States is a Democracy (Its a Republic) Sometimes actual numbers or paperwork can show the 'truthyness' if we are blessed.
posted by rough ashlar at 9:41 AM on February 2, 2012


That's exactly what happened. He approved what appeared in his race-baiting newsletters that said RON PAUL right on the fucking cover.

Yes, that is why I mentioned it.
posted by rough ashlar at 9:42 AM on February 2, 2012


in the end McCarthy was right
Joseph or Eugene?


Andrew.
posted by lord_wolf at 9:43 AM on February 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Everyone's wrong! It was Charlie.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:45 AM on February 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


no more of a "fact" than the United States is a Democracy (Its a Republic)

Mixing your terms; it's really a democratic republic. "...Our republic is governed by a representative democracy. "
posted by Miko at 9:48 AM on February 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


Everyone's wrong! It was Charlie.

Don't forget Jenny.
posted by Strange Interlude at 9:53 AM on February 2, 2012


just fine with Nazis running the government

Seems the Son and Grandsons of a sanctioned Nazi supporter were OK to run the Nation.

Look at the present system and ask if it fulfils the below quotes:

"Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power."
"Fascism, the more it considers and observes the future and the development of humanity, quite apart from political considerations of the moment, believes neither in the possibility nor the utility of perpetual peace. "

Is the US being run with the merger of State and Corporate power? Has the US been involved with 'kinetic actions' for foreign lands or had troops stationed in foreign lands for an extended period of time? If so, is such in conflict with the idea or utility of "peace"? How about making political decisions of the moment VS longer term?

As long as one is concerned about Nazi's, are you caring about fascism? Or is Fascism just a word
posted by rough ashlar at 9:54 AM on February 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Seems the Son and Grandsons of a sanctioned Nazi supporter were OK to run the Nation."

Yes, the Bush presidencies are no different than one in which literal American Nazis, like, with the skulls and the RAHOWA and the murdering would get invites to the White House. Great talk we should do this all the time
posted by a_girl_irl at 9:59 AM on February 2, 2012 [6 favorites]


...no more of a "fact" than the United States is a Democracy (Its a Republic)...

Oh, god, what a tiresome little canard. It's both. If it requires making some unusual definitions for words to support your case, you're probably wrong.
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:03 AM on February 2, 2012


whoa whoa whoa, let's not blow this out of proportion guys. these are NEO-nazis.
posted by cupcake1337 at 10:05 AM on February 2, 2012 [5 favorites]


Mixing your terms

Not at all.

"...Our republic is governed by a representative democracy. "

From a book with fact in the title:
Constitution-based federal republic

I'll call out Languagehat to diagram the sentence right and proper - but is not Republic modified by "our" - assigning ownership. "is governed by a representative democracy." describes HOW the Republic is governed, but it is still a Republic.

Calling it a Democracy gives people a warm fuzzy that they are somehow important. But how important are you, really, VS Corporate and well moneyed interests? There is representation going on alright.....
posted by rough ashlar at 10:05 AM on February 2, 2012


I don't know what it is about these racist newsletters that causes people to be unable to think clearly. If he knowingly approved the posts, then obviously he's culpable. If he didn't, then he's not. And people keep saying that the articles were signed as being written by him, but that doesn't seem to be actually the case

Well, sure if you don't take anything else he's ever said as context then. FWIW, there's more than a little evidence that he wasn't at all unaware of what was being sent out.

Or what about Robert Byrd ? This is a guy was a official in the Klan as well. Lots of democrats defended him after that, and why not?

The problem here is the ridiculous double standard. Byrd, who was a member of the Klan in the 50s is OK, but this circumstantial evidence of racism against Paul is brought up like it's damming proof.


Ah, the Byrd Corrolary, favorite bullshit argument of people trying to prove that all Democrats are either racists or protect racists. Again, if you don't take anything else that Byrd ever said or did past the 1960s, it's a double standard. But that ignores the fact that he not only publicly repudiated his prior positions multiple times, but unlike Paul, he actually took action to rectify that. For the better part of the last three decades, he had an excellent--100% for several years--voting record with the NAACP (who hailed him as "reflect[ing] the transformative power of this nation"). He supported the strengthening (or fighting the weakening) of the Civil Rights, Voting Rights, and Hate Crimes Prevention Acts. He also voted regularly on the side of the expansion of women's choice, education, welfare, and health for the less fortunate; this despite being a old, rich, white Southern man. He voted against Homeland Security and Iraq, and opposed the Bush tax cuts.

Now, tell me: can you say that Ron Paul is evidence of the transformative power of the US when it comes to racism?
posted by zombieflanders at 10:07 AM on February 2, 2012 [19 favorites]


Great talk we should do this all the time

Anytime Darl'n. Perhaps that next time it'll be about the fascism bit because you seemed to have skipped right over that.

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”
― Upton Sinclair, I, Candidate for Governor: And How I Got Licked
posted by rough ashlar at 10:10 AM on February 2, 2012


From a book with fact in the title:...

Yes, I trust the CIA to properly classify the government it works for.

Note the rest of the quote: Constitution-based federal republic; strong democratic tradition

Heh, heh. The democracy is just a "tradition". It can easily be dispensed with, right? Let's appoint congress members, shall we?
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:13 AM on February 2, 2012


Did you know that the NAZIS were actually ***socialists***??? It's right there in the name... National SOCIALIST!!!!
posted by Artw at 10:13 AM on February 2, 2012 [6 favorites]


Yeah the "Republic, not a Democracy" thing is one I've heard come up a few times on right-wing blogs. The easiest way I've found to put it is that the USA is both: in America, "Republic" is simply the box that "democracy" comes in.
posted by Hoopo at 10:18 AM on February 2, 2012


Yes, I trust the CIA to properly classify the government it works for.

Yea, and ya can't trust 'em to get things right in some kind of statement of alliance to the Government.

"And to the Republic for which it stands" rings a bell for a reason.

Heh, heh. The democracy is just a "tradition".

Yup. The President is selected by the Electoral College...hardly Democratic.
And Bev Harris has a few things to say about where the "tradition" is going. Regular readers of the Blue may remember her being a popular citation after 2000 for some reason. Perhaps the 8 year hate over, oh, what was that.....I just don't remember. Any problems and concerns about such must have been swept away with the Change, just as was Hope'd for.
posted by rough ashlar at 10:20 AM on February 2, 2012


Adv.: Adventurer asks "When has the Supreme Court asserted a federal role in public education? Have there ever been any famous cases about that?"

Mareli:Perhaps your schools failed to teach you about the Brown decision, that 1954 Supreme Court decision that ordered the desegregation of American schools?

Sorry, I thought the word "famous" would say "hamburger" for me, esp. in a thread about Ron Paul being secretly racist. Is there even a more famous case?
posted by Adventurer at 10:23 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Maybe you should read up on the arguments for creating the electoral college, then again you are Paul fanatic so delusion runs deep. Plus it has worked quite well with a couple of exwmptions. Since you are such a constitutional scholar, I am sure you know why the founding fathers and others argued for the electoral college.
posted by handbanana at 10:24 AM on February 2, 2012


"Corporatism" under fascism would not have meant rule by corporations we know them. "Corporate power" was the combined power of what we would call trade guilds or syndicates to come together, to basically act in concert as the various organs of the body of the state (think about the word "body as it relates to being "corporeal").

Fascism was an anti-individualist movement which lionized the lower middle class, who at the time found their hard work unrewarded and who regarded themselves as being very much above the truly poor. Much of this lower middle class included tradesmen who would have wished that their unions were not only stronger, but also more in the tradition of a medieval guild, where there was more of an integration into the greater, unified power structure.

Comparisons don't map well to our (obviously much more modern) economy, especially since fascism was an economically retrograde idea even at the time, as well as being fervently anti-intellectual.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:27 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Tara Thai is not in Arlington, for what it's worth.

There's more than one Tara Thai in the DC area. They had one in the Ballston neighborhood of Arlington, but it has since closed.
posted by jonp72 at 10:28 AM on February 2, 2012


in the end McCarthy was right
Joseph or Eugene?


Melissa!
posted by argonauta at 10:29 AM on February 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


The easiest way I've found to put it is that the USA is both: in America, "Republic" is simply the box that "democracy" comes in.

And yet they are different things - A democracy has everyone voting in a republic you send someone who then is empowered to make decisions.

Hence the call out to have 'citizens vote on everything' because of electronics/cell phones/SMS would allow such.

Its like referring to the Economic model in place as Kensian. Part of the whole of Kensian has government cutting back on spending when times are good. Hard to see when the cutbacks happen, but spending others money - my, my.
posted by rough ashlar at 10:31 AM on February 2, 2012


A democracy has everyone voting in a republic you send someone who then is empowered to make decisions.

Direct democracy is only one kind of democracy. Representative democracy is the much more common form. Look at a dictionary definition if you don't believe me, such as in Merriam-Webster. Your argument only works if you actively redefine "democracy" to mean what you think it means.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:36 AM on February 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


"Others money", is our collective money. We are a nation and we do have expenditures.

We do spend other countries money as well.

Dont like taxes or government? Move to Somalia.
posted by handbanana at 10:36 AM on February 2, 2012


Kensian

Keynesian.
posted by empath at 10:41 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


then again you are Paul fanatic so delusion runs deep

Ahhh thank you for the ad hominim attack.

The existence or reasons for the Electoral College doesn't change how it is a solution with the ideas of a Republic and not direct election "democracy" does it? In fact the creation of the Electoral College is tied to only male landholders - which seems to me to not be all that inclusive. If the government started out as a Republic and is now a Democracy - why hang onto the Electoral College?

Like other words - perhaps a definition is needed. Is "democracy" one person one vote? Direct voting input into the laws of the land? Or is Democracy just 'cuz the guy or gal on the stump says "Our Democracy" and therefore is "common useage"? (Kind of like gay used to mean happy and through usage became something else )
posted by rough ashlar at 10:43 AM on February 2, 2012


If it isn't the citizens of the city-state (excluding women, children and slaves) directly voting on policy then it isn't democracy.
posted by Artw at 10:46 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Can we talk about the subject of the thread instead of the form of the US government? Please?
posted by the young rope-rider at 10:51 AM on February 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


why not vote for ron paul ironically
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 10:53 AM on February 2, 2012


rough ashlar, your commitment to Ron Paul in full defiance of logic, basic economics, and the fundamentals of grammar is... I guess "impressive" is a word... but could you maybe sit down, take a breath, and actually read what other people are saying here before firing off another batch of 10–15 increasingly daffy questions?
posted by Shepherd at 10:54 AM on February 2, 2012 [6 favorites]


I find it interesting that anonymous consistently does the job that members of the media fail to do. It's no wonder their findings go unreported.
posted by elwoodwiles at 10:56 AM on February 2, 2012


but the main thing that happens in a libertarian country in the 21st century is this: in the absence of any federal checks at all, corporations are just gonna steamroll everybody.

I'm no fan of Ron Paul and very skeptical about libertarianism, but I think there's something to the libertarian argument that one of the main ways corporations steamroll everybody is that they buy laws that let them do it. In that view, the more power you give the government, the more power you give to the rich corporations that buy the legislation they want.

Sometimes it's much cheaper for a company to buy what they want from a legislature than it is to buy what they want on the open market. Easier to buy laws that grant them a monopoly than to successfully compete against other companies. Easier to buy laws that protect their business model than to reinvent themselves and compete when technology or other circumstances change. Easier to buy laws that set them up to charge rents than to offer goods and services that people actually want at prices they can afford.
posted by straight at 10:58 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is probably a stupid question, but what's with the rainbow pony? Are Guy Fawkes masks out and unicorns in?
posted by Pastabagel at 9:15 AM on February 2 [+] [!]


Guy Fawkes masks should only be used when blowing up parliament buildings in a (deeply misguided) protest at the lack of civil rights for Catholics. Overuse of Guy Fawkes masks annoys me as both an early modern historian and as a fan of the graphic novel.

and I really really like rainbows. The pony thing is just extra.

(not a unicorn. Unicorns have horns. I have an entire book of unicorn stickers from when I was 8 if you need to see some examples).
posted by jb at 10:59 AM on February 2, 2012 [5 favorites]


gjc: "I don't know what Ron Paul's deal actually IS, but my guess is that he is slightly gullible. Like how you start to hang around with this guy you meet at an open mic night, because you both like to play guitar and smoke pot. Then you go back to that guy's house and find out that the dude is also into coke and having anal sex with his girlfriend for everyone to watch. (*) Except Ron never took the time to go back to his friends' houses to find out about their less tasteful passions.

I wouldn't vote for him because his negatives outweigh his positives. As much as I would like to live in a world where pot was legal, I really wouldn't want to give up things like civil rights. There are other, less baby-with-the-bathwater ways to increase people's liberty.

(*) This really happened to a friend of mine.
"

Once again, thanks for reminding me I live the the wrong, boring town.
posted by Samizdata at 11:00 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


live in the, even. We SOOOOOOOOO need an edit pony.
posted by Samizdata at 11:01 AM on February 2, 2012


Not an ad hominim when its true. Ron Paul et al lack the concept of complexity of our national policy, economic policy and history. It is a sign of delusion.
posted by handbanana at 11:01 AM on February 2, 2012


It's disheartening to see so many people on the internet defending Ron Paul, even before this stuff happened. I get that there are some positions he holds that are popular on the internet, but for god's sake, there has to be a line somewhere, right?

Oddly, this is what my (very liberal) GF says about Obama.

Sometimes it's much cheaper for a company to buy what they want from a legislature than it is to buy what they want on the open market.

But that's still money that would be better used elsewhere. Hence the TPP's provision to allow corporations to sue governments over lost profits.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:04 AM on February 2, 2012


"Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power."

How is this an argument for a libertarian, though? It sucks, but the answer isn't removing state power entirely. It's more regulation, not zero. The EPA can be stronger; the FDA can be more independent (not perfect, but better), provided we elect someone who considers it worthwhile to direct it accordingly. (This is not more impossible than electing a libertarian; in fact, in the past it has even happened.) But even in their present compromised forms they doing a better job of saving lives, safeguarding public health, and preserving the environment than corporations do on their own.

What exactly is it in a libertarian system that would make all the committees that run these corporations super-aware of The Tragedy of the Commons and always conscientious about protecting their workers and the environment at all costs, profits be damned?
posted by Adventurer at 11:04 AM on February 2, 2012


I find it interesting that anonymous consistently does the job that members of the media fail to do.

Back to the 1880's:

Someone who knew neither the press nor Swinton offered a toast to the independent press. Swinton outraged his colleagues by replying:

"There is no such thing, at this date of the world's history, in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it.

"There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinion out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job. If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone.

"The business of the journalists is to destroy the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it, and what folly is this toasting an independent press?

"We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes."

(Source: Labor's Untold Story, by Richard O. Boyer and Herbert M. Morais, published by United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America, NY, 1955/1979.)
posted by rough ashlar at 11:07 AM on February 2, 2012 [5 favorites]


spaltavian: "in the end McCarthy was right
Joseph or Eugene?


Cormac.
"

No. Charlie.
posted by Samizdata at 11:09 AM on February 2, 2012


I'm no fan of Ron Paul and very skeptical about libertarianism, but I think there's something to the libertarian argument that one of the main ways corporations steamroll everybody is that they buy laws that let them do it.

That's an easy mistake to make, but history suggests that, in the absence of law to check private power, it's those who have the most money who call the shots and become the de facto state (often even to the extent they start calling themselves the state). Feudalism, for example, was an entire system that essentially left it up to the wealthiest landowners (landlords) to act as the de facto government; they even had their own armies.

Another key difference under those older systems: Only the wealthiest nobility were really allowed to own anything, and their property passed along strictly through inheritance to their own off-spring. The rest of the population could only borrow things they needed from the nobility, in exchange for working their land and otherwise serving them.
posted by saulgoodman at 11:13 AM on February 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


elwoodwiles: "I find it interesting that anonymous consistently does the job that members of the media fail to do. It's no wonder their findings go unreported."

Lest we forget, anonymous' methods are illegal. Media outlets tend get in lots of trouble when they break the law and hack things to get a story.
posted by zarq at 11:13 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Point being--that's what happens when there's no state to check private power.

When there is such a state, obviously, it could still be captured by private interests and used to achieve basically the same results.
posted by saulgoodman at 11:14 AM on February 2, 2012


c.Calling it a Democracy gives people a warm fuzzy...

It's ever so clear you didn't read the link. "Republic" describes the nature of the government:
a state in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by representatives chosen directly or indirectly by them
.
"Democracy" is a system for putting people in place to run the government:
government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system
.
One is a structure, the other is the mechanism to populate the structure. Our mechanism is indeed not direct democracy, but representative democracy. They are both democratic systems. We have a democratic system and the word 'democracy' can fairly be used to describe our Republic.

But if there's continued disagreement, all I can say is that this would not be the first time I have been in a discussion with a Libertarianish sympathizer who apparently reads and speaks English, yet comes to wildly different conclusions than most about the connotations of words or the authority and relevance of specific sources.
posted by Miko at 11:15 AM on February 2, 2012 [9 favorites]


I think there's something to the libertarian argument that one of the main ways corporations steamroll everybody is that they buy laws that let them do it. In that view, the more power you give the government, the more power you give to the rich corporations that buy the legislation they want.

Without strong regulations there's nothing to protect the general public or the Earth itself from spillover, which does not affect profits in any direct or measurable way. Paul gets around the biggest one by claiming that global warming is simply a hoax. But there are other things we simply don't have to deal with much anymore, like companies dumping all their toxic waste in a creek and forgetting about it. The market will never provide an incentive for them to not do that. Or to pay workers anything approaching a minimum wage. Turn-of-the-century industrial America pre-Teddy Roosevelt (not without his faults, but trustbusting and the FDA were major accomplishments) is an argument against letting the market sort it out. So is China, for that matter. Obviously not a libertarian government, but to the extent that they haven't gotten around to imposing any meaningful corporate regulations yet, compatible with the libertarian approach in this area.
posted by Adventurer at 11:16 AM on February 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Its like when Obama failed to forcefully close Guantanamo, signed away rights to trial, sent robots after American's abroad without trial, mercilessly and hypocritically went after whistleblowers, then gave OWS the cold shoulder while they were out getting shot up with baton rounds and tear gas.

Except the guy isn't even in office and he's crushing the hearts of (some but definitely not all) of his supporters.
posted by Slackermagee at 11:17 AM on February 2, 2012


Liibertarians: fuck you, I got mine
posted by handbanana at 11:17 AM on February 2, 2012


Point being--that's what happens when there's no state to check private power.

To follow on to this point, though large concentrations of private power are a threat whether or not there is a state in place, a state represents the only possibility for people who do not control wealth or resources to achieve influence over the conditions of their lives when they conflict with the aims private power.

If you have a state, you have a risk of state systems being abused by private power. If you have no state, you guarantee that private power will be the central force of control over the people - and the people are not represented by an open, representative structure in boardrooms and banks, and there's no mechanism by which they ever could be.
posted by Miko at 11:18 AM on February 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


Not an ad hominim when its true

I think you confusing ad hominem with libel.
posted by Trurl at 11:19 AM on February 2, 2012


Hardly libel, the positions/opinions/loose facts of thethe libertiarian are easily irrational and delusional utopian dreams of an overly simplistic view of the world at large.
posted by handbanana at 11:22 AM on February 2, 2012


Not an ad hominim when its true

My understanding is that ad hominim is a fallacy regardless of its truth value. The statement 'My opponent's arguments should be given less weight than mine because he cheats on his wife' is fallacious whether or not the guy cheats on his wife.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:25 AM on February 2, 2012 [6 favorites]


Sorry, I thought the word "famous" would say "hamburger" for me, esp. in a thread about Ron Paul being secretly racist. Is there even a more famous case?

Yeesh, talk about spillover. Sorry I got all shirty on you, Mareli.
posted by Adventurer at 11:28 AM on February 2, 2012


Seconding Miko. A republic is a structure of government, democracy is a quality of government. They aren't mutually exclusive or synonymous.

A republic could be a democracy, as it is in America, or it might not be, as in Ancient Rome or the republics on the Italian Renaissance.
posted by spaltavian at 11:34 AM on February 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Damnit guys, I'm right here!
posted by Ad hominem at 11:35 AM on February 2, 2012 [7 favorites]


but could you maybe sit down, take a breath, and actually read what other people are saying here before firing off another batch of 10–15 increasingly daffy questions?

As I noted to someone else in email:

If one is going to get all "Ohh Nazi bad" what was "bad"
- Propaganda
- Trying to create a global empire (with use of force)
- Wholesale large killing based on race/sexual orientation/religion
- The melding of State and Corporate power (that may have been a nation at war feature of 'em)
- The nature of the police within the state
- The consumption of the citizens directed towards the war effort (again, may just be part of a nation at war)
(and for the more right wingers who for some reason are here)
- disarming of the citizens aka gun control

How many of those "features" of the "bad men" are you doing? That you are supporting?
Propaganda is called Public Relations
Global empire by economics and a force element
The melding of State/Corporate power
The militarisation of the police as an example. Drone usage and public databases are better now than back then.
How much of 'the State' is dedicated to the Department of Defence? As what point is it "too much"?

Arn't many of the 'features' of the 'Nazi's already in place?

If one doesn't want "Nazis" in charge - isn't it rather late in the game to be worried about it? At what point does one draw the line? What does it take to have the 'ohh the Nazis are bad' grab a mirror, look at themselves, their Nation and their participation in said State and ask 'Exactly how damn close am I to that which I'm saying Ohhh Nazi bad'?

What made 'em bad...and how close are you to that darkness?

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” The US Dollar needs that global empire folks.
posted by rough ashlar at 11:36 AM on February 2, 2012


Double-you tee fuck.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:37 AM on February 2, 2012 [6 favorites]


At what point does one draw the line?

I draw it way before anyone starts saying there's no difference between contemporary US politics and the Third Reich.

Let me ask your question of you. Would you rather live in the contemporary US or 1938 Germany? Why or why not? I assume you don't care, since there is no difference.

Or maybe for you it would just depend on which side you were on.
posted by Miko at 11:39 AM on February 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


Lest we forget, anonymous' methods are illegal.

It still has value, does it not?
posted by rough ashlar at 11:39 AM on February 2, 2012


It still has value, does it not?

Only if they produce the evidence. As long as it's just claims, it's just claims.
posted by Miko at 11:40 AM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I like how the Holocaust is just lumped under one bullet point among many which also include 'propaganda.'
posted by shakespeherian at 11:41 AM on February 2, 2012 [8 favorites]


I like how the Holocaust is just lumped under one bullet point among many which also include 'propaganda.'

Yes, among the abuses of Hitler's hegemony which are rife in today's corrupt and Statist America let us not forget:

-sharp-lookin' uniforms
-folk dancing
-difficulty of finding hot new jazz records
posted by Miko at 11:46 AM on February 2, 2012 [6 favorites]


I draw it way before anyone starts saying there's no difference between contemporary US politics and the Third Reich.

And that was not the position taken. How much of that evil is being done today and even embraced?

maybe for you it would just depend on which side you were on.

Are you on the side deploying the drones for great justice or are you on the catching side of the drone attacks of a global empire is a good question.

If a global empire is needed to keep the US Dollar 'strong' - what's your incentive to support tearing down that global empire?
posted by rough ashlar at 11:48 AM on February 2, 2012


rough ashlar, it isn't clear to me what your point is: is it that the only people who aren't Nazis in today's Nazi-fied Amerikka are the Nazis who support Ron Paul?
posted by octobersurprise at 11:50 AM on February 2, 2012 [8 favorites]


rough ashlar: " Arn't many of the 'features' of the 'Nazi's already in place?

If one doesn't want "Nazis" in charge - isn't it rather late in the game to be worried about it? At what point does one draw the line? What does it take to have the 'ohh the Nazis are bad' grab a mirror, look at themselves, their Nation and their participation in said State and ask 'Exactly how damn close am I to that which I'm saying Ohhh Nazi bad'?
"

The political environment which spawned the third reich is very different than the one we have today. The groups that were targeted for genocide were not simply vilified by the Nazis and in the press overnight and then carted off to be massacred. There was legislation passed in Germany over a period of 60 years that systematically targeted Jews and other groups, scapegoated them and slowly removed their rights, until they no longer were equal to other German citizens under the law, or in the minds of their neighbors.

This difference is important and worth remembering. From an historical perspective, we are clearly not Nazi Germany or fascist Italy, nor headed imminently down their paths, despite any gross similarities might be immediately recognizable.
posted by zarq at 11:53 AM on February 2, 2012 [7 favorites]


EVILS OF NAZISM
-Funny mustaches
-Subpar cinema
-Too much shouting
-White supremacism, wholesale slaughter of Jews
-Poor choices in the cafe
posted by shakespeherian at 11:55 AM on February 2, 2012 [17 favorites]


Earlier in the thread, I would have shared the view that this is one of those discussions that's basically impossible to Godwin.

I now take the view that there are no discussions it is impossible to Godwin.
posted by brennen at 11:56 AM on February 2, 2012


G O D W I N C E P T I O N
posted by zombieflanders at 11:58 AM on February 2, 2012 [6 favorites]


subpar cinema

Riefenstahl may have said her works weren't Nazi but most people disagree with her.
posted by Trurl at 11:59 AM on February 2, 2012


OK, this is where I have to turn my back on the guy. Sorry you really did turn out to be a full on racist, Ron, because your personal freedom stuff was good.
posted by Meatbomb at 11:59 AM on February 2, 2012


I like how the Holocaust is just lumped under one bullet point

That one is not trivial - skipping it on a bullet point list of evil actions taken isn't possible. Like its not trivial what the Turks did back in WWI. Genocide of a group of people due to their religion/sexual partner selection/opposition to the state has nothing on killing various tribal groups to take their land. But that is the old US of A so really doesn't work with the introspection of "Say, how close are you to supporting Nazi grade evil" . Inspired someone however

Hitler draws parallels between Lebensraum and the American ethnic cleansing and relocation policies towards the Native Americans, which he saw as key to the success of the US.

(And for the "Genocide is bad" crowd at home 1 Samuel 15:2-3 Thus saith the LORD of hosts ... go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass. Yet another "how much of that level of EVIL are *YOU* embracing?)
posted by rough ashlar at 12:00 PM on February 2, 2012


You guys got Ron Paul all wrong. He isn't a Nazi per-se, he just supports other people's right to be a Nazi.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:02 PM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


On the plus side, the all-you-can-eat pad Thai is to die for.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:03 PM on February 2, 2012


There was legislation passed in Germany over a period of 60 years that systematically targeted Jews and other groups, scapegoated them and slowly removed their rights,

And this is a good point - there have been successful attempts at rights expansion in America. Hopefully such will continue. Even if sometimes Corporations become humans.
posted by rough ashlar at 12:04 PM on February 2, 2012


And for the "Genocide is bad" crowd

A growing demographic!
posted by shakespeherian at 12:04 PM on February 2, 2012 [10 favorites]


you're honestly making me laugh

"ron paul may have direct ties to nazi organizations"

supporter: "well look, nazis aren't so different from the rest of us"

no depths to which you will not sink for the sake of politics
posted by Danila at 12:05 PM on February 2, 2012 [9 favorites]


Dude if you think the US is heading in the direction or has already arrived to the Third Reich then you are completely irrational and out of touch with reality.
posted by handbanana at 12:05 PM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Meanwhile over in Italy...
posted by rough ashlar at 12:08 PM on February 2, 2012


This is probably a stupid question, but what's with the rainbow pony? Are Guy Fawkes masks out and unicorns in?

That's not a unicorn, that's a pegasus named Rainbow Dash! She's brash sometimes but embodies the Element of Loyalty, and is good friends with Fluttershy and Twilight Sparkle, who is a unicorn! I have notebooks and journals and diaries filled with drawings of her. Would you like to see my fanfi--

Oh, okay. Maybe later then.

-
Rainbow Dash has joined the roster of Anonymous LULZ images, along with Guy Faulkes, rage comics faces and Nyan Cat. I think they're mostly chosen for silly value. Which is not a bad value to have.
posted by JHarris at 12:09 PM on February 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


wtf does that have to do with anything. Dammit I would like to talk about Ron Paul and the actual subject of this thread.
posted by the young rope-rider at 12:10 PM on February 2, 2012


rough ashlar: " (And for the "Genocide is bad" crowd at home 1 Samuel 15:2-3 Thus saith the LORD of hosts ... go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass. Yet another "how much of that level of EVIL are *YOU* embracing?)"

Errr.... perhaps I'm misreading the intent of your comment, but.... I'm a conservative Jew. That doesn't mean I'm down with stoning, massacring or vilifying people for their beliefs. (Okay, I do vilify dominionists and the WBC, but they're pretty fucked up.) And I certainly don't believe women should be treated as chattel or second-class citizens. Or that anyone who is gay, lesbian or transgender should be treated with any sort of disrespect or as anything other than an equal.

Just because something is mentioned in the Torah, doesn't mean that it is embraced by modern Jews. We're certainly not all cut from the same cloth.
posted by zarq at 12:10 PM on February 2, 2012


lack of preview fail. Sorry JHarris.
posted by the young rope-rider at 12:10 PM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


The only think surprising about this is that anyone is surprised. "states rights" has been a neo-nazi dog whistle for how many years now? I always figured his base is was back-woods preparedness nuts and gold hoarders. It has been a little strange seeing liberals embracing him.

He is not pro personal freedom, he is anti federal government. There is a big difference.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:18 PM on February 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


He is not pro personal freedom

Unless the person is a corporation, of course.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:21 PM on February 2, 2012


So, what I'm getting from this conversation is that since other people and the occasional deity have done bad things it's o.k. for Ron Paul to go out and grab some Thai with Neo-Nazis?

I'm going to try this out with my wife: Look I know I didn't clean the bathroom like I said I would, but the U.S. has Fiat money, AND like Nazi Germany has invaded other countries.

So, that said:

I'm not finding anything more damning to Ron Paul than the already mentioned and known news letter. So I guess this is just one more thing to show people who like his surface views about why all that glitters isn't gold.
posted by Gygesringtone at 12:22 PM on February 2, 2012


Er, bad editing: "So I guess this is just one more thing to show people who like his surface that all that glitters isn't gold."
posted by Gygesringtone at 12:24 PM on February 2, 2012


Arn't many of the 'features' of the 'Nazi's already in place?

If one doesn't want "Nazis" in charge - isn't it rather late in the game to be worried about it?


Don't you see, people? No matter who you vote for, they're all exactly the same as Nazis anyway, so why not throw your vote behind the sweet, smiling, grandpa-like Nazi?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:28 PM on February 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


Successful troll is successful.
posted by falameufilho at 12:28 PM on February 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


Who are these people who support the genocide of Native Americans but not the Jews that you're arguing against, RA? Or is your argument that criticizing someone for ties to Nazis is hypocritical because we're not calling for the government to cede all U.S. lands to the descendents of the survivors? I'll buy some of that, but it's kind of the opposite of a call to take failing to reject neo-Nazis (probably the most that could be proven) less seriously.

In the absence of a strong federal government, what's to keep Blackwater from getting some mercenaries together and wiping out poorly-outfitted people in faraway lands on their own? What could possibly stop them? Somebody else's strong central government? Another corporation that wants the land for itself? Your argument seems to say that nobody would have ever owned slaves if there had been no government to collude with the slaveholders. As long as people and groups can accumulate power by exploiting people who have less of it, we need to be able to protect ourselves through a decent government that's stronger than they are. The fact that it's so easy for the powerful to get in there and subvert it so that it's bad or barely works means government is the problem the same way rich people getting away with murder means that we need to get rid of laws against murder.
posted by Adventurer at 12:45 PM on February 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Exactly, I've always thought that one of the central tenets of liberalism, or progressivism or whatever you want to call it, is that government can be a force for good,it can protect the week, feed the hungry, try to lift up the poor. The fact that people we elect choose not to do that is our fault for electing the wrong people, not a problem with the concept of government in itself.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:53 PM on February 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Sorry, it's getting hard to distinguish between ridiculous arguments that are mainstream enough to be worth arguing with and ridiculous arguments everybody recognizes as ridiculous.
posted by Adventurer at 12:54 PM on February 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


Perhaps not surprisingly, reddit's /r/ronpaul has already started trying to justify this:
It's not "Justification" to question whether a data dump from "Anonymous" is in any way legitimate. Anyone call themselves "Anonymous." Let's see if this gets picked up by major news organizations or whatever, they exist for a reason.

How do you guys know this isn't just some James O'Keefe bullshit?
That's how things go 'round here. Go dig up the old thread on the 'lynched' census worker. Word 'lynched' is used, buttons pushed, off on the various talking points. Didn't matter that the details were thin. The 2 minute hate had to happen and didn't matter that the gruel was thin - there was scenery to chew.
The dude was found hanged from a tree. It was a reasonable assumption to make.
Either he knew the content of those newsletters and didn't think it was that bad (as he originally claimed), and therefore if not racist then he is a craven opportunist who will use racist language to promote himself to racists (even worse!)

OR, he did not know the content of those newsletters and is thus a complete and total moron for letting people publish whatever they like under his masthead with no editorial control.
Yes, that is the correct statement to make. Was that so hard? Since you don't know which is the case, you can't say that one or the other is true. At least not if you want to be honest.

Like I said. People always complain when republicans lie about random shit. So you shouldn't do it yourself.
Ah, the Byrd Corrolary, favorite bullshit argument of people trying to prove that all Democrats are either racists or protect racists. Again, if you don't take anything else that Byrd ever said or did past the 1960s, it's a double standard. But that ignores the fact that he not only publicly repudiated his prior positions multiple times, but unlike Paul,
I didn't say there Byrd was a racist, but rather that democrats were willing to forgive past racism, in the case of a Demcorat.

But here's the problem. Paul absolutely repudiated these newsletters. He's said multiple times that publishing them was wrong. Yet, you say he didn't. That's false. It's just factually false.
"Dr. Paul has stated repeatedly that he did not write these words, did not approve them, has disavowed them, and apologized for not exercising better oversight of things being published under his name over 20 years ago," Gary Howard, a spokesman for Mr. Paul's campaign, said Monday.
Here's one link

What is wrong with being honest or saying people should tell the truth about what's actually going on?
Maybe you should read up on the arguments for creating the electoral college, then again you are Paul fanatic so delusion runs deep. Plus it has worked quite well with a couple of exwmptions. Since you are such a constitutional scholar, I am sure you know why the founding fathers and others argued for the electoral college.
Yeah the George W. Bush presidency was just a minor inconvenience, really. It's a standard Democratic position to be against it, by the way. Hillary Clinton supported a constitutional amendment to get rid of it, and a lot of states have been passing laws that will get rid of it by giving their the national popular vote winner once a majority of states pass similar laws.

Kind of amazing that anyone would defend the electoral college these days. It's profoundly undemocratic -- if you live in California or NY you basically have no say over the outcome of an election.

---

Anyway, Ron Paul is clearly not going to with the republican nomination. It will be either Gingrich or Romney. So a lot of this is irrelevant anyway. Obviously I would rather see Ron Paul be the republican nominee then Romney or Obviously Gingrich (who is clearly a Racist, and clearly a racist today). But I'm not a republican in the first place so what difference does it make?

But the important point is you shouldn't just lie about political figures because you don't like them.
posted by delmoi at 12:57 PM on February 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Was that so hard? Since you don't know which is the case, you can't say that one or the other is true. At least not if you want to be honest.

I am being honest that Ron Paul is either racist, a depraved and craven opportunist, or a moron.

Since this issue has come to national attention, former Paul staffers have come forward and said that Paul approved the content in the newsletters, but of course did not personally believe it. I suppose this is a "He said/he said" situation, but since again, we are being skeptical, not close-minded. If it looks like a duck, and it quacks like a duck, and other people say it's a duck, why would I disbelieve them?
posted by muddgirl at 1:03 PM on February 2, 2012


I guess my bottom line is, why do supporters of Ron Paul find "craven opportunist" and "moron" to be more attractive than "racist?" Especially since, in the first case, he is often lauded for his honesty and integrity; and in the second case he is running for president of the United States.
posted by muddgirl at 1:06 PM on February 2, 2012 [5 favorites]


Approving content is not the same thing as writing it, but it's still approval, and it's still spreading those ideas using his own organization and his own money. He might not have created the text by his own hand, but his organization produced it, and he made it possible. It's a fairly thin line.

handbanana:
We're not there yet, but it's difficult to argue that we haven't "moved in that direction," not if you rate the U.S. on a scale of 1 to Hitler. <I'm so happy, said my hands, doin' the Godwin dance!>
posted by JHarris at 1:15 PM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I didn't say there Byrd was a racist

You called him an official of the KKK. You don't get there by collecting enough bottle caps to send in for a prize. Being a racist is the prerequisite for the job.

democrats were willing to forgive past racism, in the case of a Demcorat.

And as I pointed out, they had many good reasons to do so, or did you not do any research on Byrd past 1964? And even still, there are very few that actually fully forgave him. Ron Paul has done nothing to ameliorate his past positions, and has arguably said and done things to further the case against himself.

Yet, you say he didn't. That's false. It's just factually false.

Maybe you're confusing me with someone else? I never said that there was no repudiation of the letters. I said that there was evidence piling on that he was aware of them.

What is wrong with being honest or saying people should tell the truth about what's actually going on?

But the important point is you shouldn't just lie about political figures because you don't like them.


Pot, kettle, etc. And next time, perhaps using the politician's hired spokesman as "evidence" should be viewed with some skepticism, no? That's as strong a position as the semantic difference between a racist and an official of the KKK.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:16 PM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ah, I didn't see delmoi's link when I wrote that. That's interesting, although it doesn't change the fact that he published them. Also, from the "one link" link:

"It doesn't make sense to me," said Arleigh Clemens, a 74-year-old retired manager of a construction-supply company and the co-chairman of the Johnson County Republican Party. "I can't believe a guy from South Texas could get elected to Congress for all of those years if he was a known racist."

LOL STROM THURMOND
posted by JHarris at 1:18 PM on February 2, 2012


(Not that Thurmond was from Texas. But Congress is absolutely not immune to racists. Getting voted into office proves nothing.)
posted by JHarris at 1:19 PM on February 2, 2012


But here's the problem. Paul absolutely repudiated these newsletters. He's said multiple times that publishing them was wrong. Yet, you say he didn't. That's false. It's just factually false.

Your statement is technically correct (in that he has, recently, repudiated them), but it does not account for how his narrative has changed. I've linked to the Christian Science Monitor timeline on Metafilter before.
1995 to 1996

In a 1995 C-Span interview, Paul talks up his newsletter and espouses some familiarity with its contents. He says it deals a lot "with the value of the dollar, the pros and cons of the gold standard, and of course the disadvantages of all the high taxes and spending our government seems to continue to do."

Paul, having been out of office for a decade, ran for Congress in 1996 and the content of the newsletters were raised by his opponent as a campaign issue. Paul's campaign doesn't deny authorship of the newsletters, but says the Democratic rival is taking the message out of context.

In a Dallas Morning News interview, Paul said the comment about black men in the District of Columbia arose from his study of a report by the National Center on Incarceration and Alternatives, a criminal justice think tank in Virginia.
Was he lying then or is he lying now?
posted by muddgirl at 1:27 PM on February 2, 2012 [5 favorites]


Jonathan Chait wrote about Paul's efforts to cultivate an influence in the GOP and his friendship with Romney earlier today. It won't come as a shock to libertarians or Republicans to learn that a man who wants to eviscerate the welfare state is, well, a Republican, but it might give some lefties a pause to wonder if Mr. No Wars and Legal Drugs would be satisfied with more tax and spending cuts.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:39 PM on February 2, 2012


I didn't say there Byrd was a racist, but rather that democrats were willing to forgive past racism, in the case of a Demcorat.

Forgive past racism? No, not really! Racism is unacceptable. When an individual stops being racist, that's a good thing. Forgiveness for racism is not really involved there.

I've been really interested in tracking this blog meme that's cropping up over the last month or so about attacking Democrats for their party's historical racism. It's all over the place - a salty quote or two from LBJ, a complete non-mention of the entire last five decades, and the whole party is handily tarred as hypocritical because once it was the stronghold of Jim Crow and Strom Thurmond.

Those are the facts, but what is missing is that was fifty years ago, and today's Democratic Party is not functionally the same party. What happened in the intervening time is that the 1964Civil Rights Act was passed, the white racist "Dixiecrats" got pissed and left the party, and went where? Oh, to the Republican Party, who abandoned the Lincoln legacy and decided they were more than happy to receive racists - and then, even to court them actively and purposefully, lining up the Atwater brainchild Southern Strategy which is essentially still in effect today as the organizing principle of the weak Republican coalition between racists, social conservatives, fiscal-conservatives, and today, small-government free-market ideologues.

It's ridiculous on its face, but I swear to God for weeks I've been stepping into messy piles of "shut up you Democrat, your people were KKK!" It would be interesting to trace the birth and transmission of this mental virus across the various talking-point blogs with SOURCES!!! which are their vectors - but that would entail reading more of that frothy kind of stuff than I usually can stand. But don't be surprised if you see it again. And again. Keep that Atwater link handy.
posted by Miko at 1:46 PM on February 2, 2012 [6 favorites]


I am being honest that Ron Paul is either racist, a depraved and craven opportunist, or a moron.
Yeah, that's fine. But "He's knowingly published these or is a moron" is not the same statement as "he knowingly published these". It's entirely possible he is in fact a moron. I think the whole "Austrian economics" stuff is pretty moronic, for example.
posted by delmoi at 1:48 PM on February 2, 2012


To follow on to this point, though large concentrations of private power are a threat whether or not there is a state in place, a state represents the only possibility for people who do not control wealth or resources to achieve influence over the conditions of their lives when they conflict with the aims private power.

And when they conflict with the aims of state power, what options do they have then?

It seems as though your starting assumption is that private power is more dangerous to those lacking resources than state power, and I don't know what basis there is for that.

-----

Did you know that the NAZIS were actually ***socialists***??? It's right there in the name... National SOCIALIST!!!!

Good, solid point.

-----

Exactly, I've always thought that one of the central tenets of liberalism, or progressivism or whatever you want to call it, is that government can be a force for good,it can protect the week, feed the hungry, try to lift up the poor. The fact that people we elect choose not to do that is our fault for electing the wrong people, not a problem with the concept of government in itself.

I doubt it, but whatever. The more relevant point is that the Constitution limits the power of federal government. And that's what State's Rights is about, increasing local control. Some places will have more restrictive, even oppressive laws than others. That's one of the costs. The argument for strict adherence to the Constitution in maintaining limits on the powers of the federal government is similar to the argument Thomas Sowell makes against judicial activism.

"Judges can conduct limited coups d’etat surreptitiously, while a military coup is usually overt and sweeping. Nevertheless, the dangers to constitutional government are no less real in the long run from judicial activism-- both because of the cumulative effect of small usurpations and because small usurpations both generate pressures and provide the precedents for larger usurpations by others with different social visions.

...

The belief that a constitutional structure can be maintained while jurists with radically different visions make "substantive choices" within it seems dangerously similar to a belief that one can slide half-way down a slippery slope. The argument for judicial activism must stand or fall in general and enduring terms, not simply on whether some current political or social creed is considered so superior to competing creeds as to justify judges' decisions in its favor. It is ultimately not a question of the relative merits of particular political or social creeds but of the long-run consequences of opening the floodgates to the generic principle of constitutional decisions based on "substantive values." Once you have opened the floodgates, you cannot tell the water where to go."

It's pretty much the same argument, "The argument for increasing the power and authority of the federal government instead of holding to the mandated limits in the Constitution..." and so on.
posted by BigSky at 1:48 PM on February 2, 2012


delmoi - no one has answered my follow-up point: Why is being a moron more acceptable in a presidential candidate?
posted by muddgirl at 1:50 PM on February 2, 2012


Did you know that the NAZIS were actually ***socialists***??? It's right there in the name... National SOCIALIST!!!!

Good, solid point.


I--
posted by shakespeherian at 1:54 PM on February 2, 2012 [9 favorites]


It seems as though your starting assumption is that private power is more dangerous to those lacking resources than state power, and I don't know what basis there is for that.

Feudalism? Slavery? Complete lack of worker's rights during the Gilded Age? None of these ringing a bell?

Good, solid point.

Not sure if trolling, or just completely unaware.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:55 PM on February 2, 2012 [5 favorites]


Forgive past racism? No, not really! Racism is unacceptable. When an individual stops being racist, that's a good thing. Forgiveness for racism is not really involved there.
Well, why not with Ron Paul then? That's what's unclear. Obviously there's a difference between 1990 and 1950. But on the other hand, Byrd was an official in the KKK.
I've been really interested in tracking this blog meme that's cropping up over the last month or so about attacking Democrats for their party's historical racism. It's all over the place - a salty quote or two from LBJ, a complete non-mention of the entire last five decades, and the whole party is handily tarred as hypocritical because once it was the stronghold of Jim Crow and Strom Thurmond.
I havn't seen it. I don't have a problem with Robert Byrd, I liked the guy. The question is why I'm supposed to hate Ron Paul in order to be a "good liberal" or whatever.
delmoi - no one has answered my follow-up point: Why is being a moron more acceptable in a presidential candidate?
I would rather vote for a moron who I anti-war and anti-torture then a brilliant warmonger. If George Bush had been as enthusiastic about peace as he was about war, would the those 8 years have been that bad? And he was a stupid warmonger. Imagine if he'd been as smart as Dick Cheney himself?
posted by delmoi at 1:56 PM on February 2, 2012


Hey, guys. The Klu Klux Klan has "brothers" in the name. If you are a brother, then you're a white supremacist.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:58 PM on February 2, 2012


Not all bronys are fighting for equality, you know...
posted by Jimbob at 1:58 PM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, why not with Ron Paul then? That's what's unclear. Obviously there's a difference between 1990 and 1950.

I think you more or less answered your own question. Plus, where Byrd redeemed himself in many of the ways zombieflanders pointed out already, Paul's reaction was to backpedal, rationalize, and then eventually disavow. Not too fine a difference between the two, I think.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:00 PM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


And when they conflict with the aims of state power, what options do they have then?

They have recourse to their representative democracy, to change the representation and thus redirect state power.

It seems as though your starting assumption is that private power is more dangerous to those lacking resources than state power, and I don't know what basis there is for that.

The basis is that people have no ability to influence private power. But they do have the ability to influence state power, because the people are the foundation of the government, and its structures were designed to serve them. There is no Bill of Rights to which corporations or private warlords must adhere.

I love that you appeal to the Constitution as your foundation for the idea of states' rights. Without the constitution, where would states' rights derive? States would functionally have no rights, because if DesertCorp wanted to invade Nevada, take over, kick all the people out and process the sand for trace minerals, they could.

The more relevant point is that the Constitution limits the power of federal government.
And that's what State's Rights is about, increasing local control.


No, the Constitution doesn't do this. The Constitution sets out a statement about what the government is empowered to do, but leaves open the possibility of its own emendation which would fully negate state rule on any issue which the people wish to begin ascribing to the jurisduction of the federal government. And this has happened, obviously, many times. The Constitution purposely does not enshrine rights to the states - it simply leaves states free to legislate where no federal law prohibits legislation. McCulloch vs. Maryland, 1819:
State action may not impede valid constitutional exercises of power by the Federal government.
posted by Miko at 2:04 PM on February 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


no one has answered my follow-up point: Why is being a moron more acceptable in a presidential candidate?

So are we applying this criteria equally across the board?

Imagine a candidate who, more than 15 years ago, fundraised and attempted to garner financial and political support from a group of people based on a letter taking a political position offensive to many U.S. voters. That letter was sent from "Friends of" the candidate, contained the candidate's name and signature, and misstated a position that offends many U.S. voters today, 15 years later.

Over a decade later, that formerly obscure candidate starts to matter in politics. And in an attempt to deflect attention from that letter, the candidate's communications director suggests that the document from the 1990s was a fake, "filled out by someone else," not the candidate.

Ron Paul?

Hardly.

The candidate from 15 years ago is now President Barack Obama.

posted by quintessencesluglord at 2:07 PM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Speaking of a warmonger generally considered 'brilliant' by a lot of people check out this documentary on Robert McNamara, who was the secretary of defense for a period during the Vietnam war. Would you rather vote for that guy or an 'average' person.
Paul's reaction was to backpedal, rationalize, and then eventually disavow. Not too fine a difference between the two, I think.
*shrug*. Obviously that kind of thing is subjective. It's like during the 2008 campaign when Hillary accused Obama of not repudiating Louis Farrakhan hard enough during one of the debates.

Speaking of which, her campaign, lead by Mark "Did he ever sell cocaine" Penn did plenty of race bating during that primary, Geraldine Ferraro was out there saying people were only voting for Obama because he was black, etc. The Farrakhan thing was another example. She certainly never publicly acknowledged or apologized for it.
posted by delmoi at 2:09 PM on February 2, 2012


Well, why not with Ron Paul then? That's what's unclear. Obviously there's a difference between 1990 and 1950.

Because Ron Paul's repudiations are rather suspect given evidence from his colleagues of the time, and he's yet to back down from other fucked-up positions.

But on the other hand, Byrd was an official in the KKK.

Dude, just give it up.

The question is why I'm supposed to hate Ron Paul in order to be a "good liberal" or whatever.

No one's telling you to hate him. We're asking why you feel the need to defend his odious policies and ignore how they affect his other policies in context.

I would rather vote for a moron who I anti-war and anti-torture then a brilliant warmonger.

So an anti-war moron fucking over the rights of racial minorities, women, gays, and the poor is A-OK?

If George Bush had been as enthusiastic about peace as he was about war, would the those 8 years have been that bad?

There's convincing arguments for both sides, and there's a good chance it could have been worse. Without the war dragging down his ratings and that of his party, he may have been free to fuck over a whole bunch of people and never allow a Democratic majority. It's not a stretch to think that the poor bastards in that alternate universe are talking about President Sarah Palin and how her filibuster-proof majority had just sworn in Justice Michele Bachmann after Ruth Bader Ginsburg collapsed from a broken heart "chest pains."
posted by zombieflanders at 2:09 PM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


That quote does a really good job of dodging around what he actually said in a desperate attempt to make it sound shady.

Apparently he supported the legalization of gay marriage, and now he's taking a "pragmatic" approach and supporting civil unions.

I'm not a huge Obama fan, but it's not as mind blowing when you cut out all of the nonsense and dubious framing.
posted by Stagger Lee at 2:10 PM on February 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


The candidate from 15 years ago is now President Barack Obama.

So Obama's people are covering up the fact that he supports gay marriage. Paul's people are covering up the fact that he anticipates the coming race war.

SAMEY
posted by shakespeherian at 2:10 PM on February 2, 2012 [13 favorites]




no one has answered my follow-up point: Why is being a moron more acceptable in a presidential candidate?


It blows my mind that Americans would argue about who they'd rather be led by, a moron or a nazi-sympathizer.
posted by Stagger Lee at 2:11 PM on February 2, 2012


Obviously there's a difference between 1990 and 1950.

And there's a difference between 1990 and 2011.

You're answering your own question.

My point is that forgiveness is unnecessary when bad action stops. Byrd isn't perfect, and I don't need to forgive him; I just need to endorse or not endorse his political actions in the here and now. I
posted by Miko at 2:13 PM on February 2, 2012


I think that comparisons to Barack Obama are going to play like gangbusters on a site like Metafilter, whose members have never, ever criticised Barack Obama for any reason. Especially not his record on gay rights! I thought he was unassailable!
posted by muddgirl at 2:14 PM on February 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


That one is not trivial - skipping it on a bullet point list of evil actions taken isn't possible.

And yeah, don't make the even more hilarious mistake of thinking people were calling it out because it was too trivial.
posted by Miko at 2:15 PM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh wait I didn't even read the Obama letter, it's even better than I thought. "Wah, Obama is secretly NOT a homophobe! Just like Ron Paul is secretly a racist! What terrible lies on both sides!"
posted by muddgirl at 2:18 PM on February 2, 2012 [7 favorites]


They have recourse to their representative democracy, to change the representation and thus redirect state power.

Hmm. It's a shame these poor suckers couldn't figure that one out.

States would functionally have no rights, because if DesertCorp wanted to invade Nevada, take over, kick all the people out and process the sand for trace minerals, they could.

Damn it. If only there was some common agreement to provide for the common defense.
posted by BigSky at 2:42 PM on February 2, 2012


The more relevant point is that the Constitution limits the power of federal government. And that's what State's Rights is about, increasing local control.

This sounds like the Articles of Confederation, not the Constitution. The Constitution was written specifically to increase the power of the federal government at the expense of the states, at least as compared to the weak federal/strong state system set up by the Articles. The Articles seem to me to be a far more libertarian document than the Constitution is. And they only lasted about ten years, because the states weren't paying taxes and it was impossible to get a treaty together and the states were showing signs of breaking up into smaller and smaller units.

Some places will have more restrictive, even oppressive laws than others. That's one of the costs.

My kneejerk reaction is "easy for you to say," and my second reaction is "easy for you to say," and then my question is how is it that the Bill of Rights (and I assume amendments like the 14th and 19th) is worth enshrining at the national level, but other human/civil rights are not.
posted by Adventurer at 2:43 PM on February 2, 2012 [5 favorites]


That quote does a really good job of dodging around what he actually said in a desperate attempt to make it sound shady.

Apparently he supported the legalization of gay marriage, and now he's taking a "pragmatic" approach and supporting civil unions.

I'm not a huge Obama fan, but it's not as mind blowing when you cut out all of the nonsense and dubious framing.


The point was made that either Paul knew what was in a newsletter that bore his name or he was an idiot for not knowing. Does the same apply to Obama? The substance of either isn't what's being debated, just the fact that that something got published and do we apply the same criteria (and the inherent hypocrisy involved).

It's only passingly interesting that some would give Obama a pass for now not supporting gay marriage, and not Paul for repudiating something written in his name. Pragmatism and all that.

What is terribly interesting is that these issues only seem to come up here for Paul, which I think speaks more to:

This is why Ron Paul can critique the Federal Reserve and American empire, and why liberals have essentially no answer to his ideas, arguing instead over Paul having character defects. Ron Paul’s stance should be seen as a challenge to better create a coherent structural critique of the American political order. It’s quite obvious that there isn’t one coming from the left, otherwise the figure challenging the war on drugs and American empire wouldn’t be in the Republican primary as the libertarian candidate.


and completely ignoring all other aspects that speak forcefully to Paul not being a racist.
posted by quintessencesluglord at 2:46 PM on February 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


Hmm. It's a shame these poor suckers couldn't figure that one out.

Did you look at the list of nations on the left-hand side of the table? How's that democracy working out for them?

Damn it. If only there was some common agreement to provide for the common defense.

Common to whom? How is this process not corruptible? What if there's majority agreement the mineral sands are fair game, or there are corporations buying out those who decide on common defense? Sorry Nevadans. There's no other central principle to which you can appeal.
posted by Miko at 2:49 PM on February 2, 2012


The point was made that either Paul knew what was in a newsletter that bore his name or he was an idiot for not knowing. Does the same apply to Obama?

Yes. Obama's people are lying. He was, in fact, in support of gay marriage at the time, or else should be beholden to the fact that someone else used his name to state same.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:54 PM on February 2, 2012


This is why Ron Paul can critique the Federal Reserve and American empire, and why liberals have essentially no answer to his ideas, arguing instead over Paul having character defects.

When you're a politician, hanging out with neo-nazis is not just a fucking character defect. It's not like they caught the guy wearing women's undergarments, he's a politician and he's hanging out with nazis.
posted by Stagger Lee at 2:55 PM on February 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


This is why Ron Paul can critique the Federal Reserve and American empire, and why liberals have essentially no answer to his ideas, arguing instead over Paul having character defects.

Also we've been all over Paul's crazy ideas about currency, international relations, and other weirdo policy positions both in this thread and in many others. The reason, it seems to me, that so many Ron Paul conversation keep circling back to his apparent racism is that whenever someone criticizes his bizarre ideas about, say, the gold standard, as well as saying that he's a terrible racist, his supporters only push back on the terrible racist part.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:56 PM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is this CIA Anonymous? Was this a Cass Sunstein "Nudge"? You know, Cass Sunstein of the OIRA. I mean, you already know what the OIRA is and who Cass Sunstein is right?

In Other News, Propoganda as usual.
http://links.visibli.com/share/HOEyKj

.
posted by Israel Tucker at 2:57 PM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


his supporters only push back on the terrible racist part.

Usually they don't fully understand the other parts. He depends for the degree of support he does have on super fuzzy understandings.
posted by Miko at 2:58 PM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


...also, it might be one of the few dealbreakers for people who are committed egalitarian liberals. I can understand how it might be possible to consider some of his financial and foreign policy ideas good if you didn't know that much world history. But if you really are for equal rights for all as one of your core considerations in supporting a candidate, his views on that stuff become a definite stopping place.

So they may react strongly because it may be responsible for the most profound limitation of his appeal.
posted by Miko at 3:01 PM on February 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's only passingly interesting that some would give Obama a pass for now not supporting gay marriage, and not Paul for repudiating something written in his name. Pragmatism and all that.

The position is pretty much the same honestly. I think Obama is now not supporting gay marriage because it's politically expedient not to, even though I think he probably really does support it, or he doesn't really care one way or the other. In any case, to say he's against it is probably overstating the case, as he said his opinion is evolving.
posted by empath at 3:09 PM on February 2, 2012


I think that backpedaling and watering down his stance is consistent with what Obama preaches. His election platform promised to build bridges between the parties, and he's always claimed to be a political pragmatist. He says that he wants cooperation and results, not ideology and conflict.

Going from "I support gay marriage" to "Well not right now, right now I support civil unions," is consistent with that idea.

But anyway, I think that Obama has had plenty of push back by people that think he failed to fulfill his promises. I'd argue that they weren't really listening to his campaign, but that's not really the point.
posted by Stagger Lee at 3:16 PM on February 2, 2012


and he's yet to back down from other fucked-up positions.
What do his other positions have to do with him being a racist?
But on the other hand, Byrd was an official in the KKK.
Dude, just give it up.
Give what up? Byrd was an official in the KKK, he was a "keagle" and recruited 150 members. He repudiated his past, and Paul's repudiated the newsletters.
No one's telling you to hate him. We're asking why you feel the need to defend his odious policies and ignore how they affect his other policies in context.
Yeah, I'm not defending him. I'm pointing out that false statements are false. How I feel about him doesn't change factual reality, but a lot of people seem to have trouble with that.
So an anti-war moron fucking over the rights of racial minorities, women, gays, and the poor is A-OK?
Do you understand the difference between a general statement and a specific one? When did I ever say I was a Ron Paul supporter? All I said was that I would rather he be the nominee then Newt Gingrich or Mitt Romney. If you had to chose between one of those three being the next president, who would it be? Newt "Black people have no work ethic" Gingrich or Mitt "I don't care about the very poor" Romney? (actually, I think the country would be better of with Romney as present then Paul, since Paul's economic policies are not very sensible -- I just think the election would be a lot more entertaining if Paul were the nominee)

And by the way, there are lots of legitimate reasons to be against Ron Paul. I do think he's wrong on the issue of State's rights and obviously the idea of going back to the gold standard is moronic. I think the Obsession with these newsletters on the left is kind of pathetic. It's not going to actually convince anyone who likes Ron Paul and instead of pointing out the actual problems with the guys current positions you're arguing against positions that you say he had 20 years ago, but he says he didn't have then and doesn't have now.

In fact, it makes it appear that there aren't any good arguments against the guy, because no one every brings up any of the problems, just the newsletters.
So Obama's people are covering up the fact that he supports gay marriage. Paul's people are covering up the fact that he anticipates the coming race war.

SAMEY
Obama opposes Gay marriage (although he supported it before becoming a presidential candidate)
Is this CIA Anonymous? Was this a Cass Sunstein "Nudge"? You know, Cass Sunstein of the OIRA. I mean, you already know what the OIRA is and who Cass Sunstein is right?
Lolwhat?
I think that backpedaling and watering down his stance is consistent with what Obama preaches. His election platform promised to build bridges between the parties, and he's always claimed to be a political pragmatist. He says that he wants cooperation and results, not ideology and conflict.
Oh, come on. It's pure political expediency.

----

Also, seriously, how do you people feel about Hillary Clinton's race bating during the 2008 primary? The Farrakhan thing, Mark Penn asking if Obama had ever sold Cocaine, Ferraro claiming he was a product of affirmative action and people were only voting for him because he was black, etc? That was in 2008. And like I said, she never apologized or repudiated it.

Is there an acceptable level of racism that you can use in a campaign that's excusable if you're a Democrat or what? Obviously it doesn't come close to what was in those news letters but it was three years ago.

I'm actually kind of curious what the answer is. No one had a problem with calling her out on Metafilter at the time.
posted by delmoi at 3:21 PM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah delmoi, I can level criticism against pretty much all American politicians, but I'd be hard pressed to find one I support.

Would it be the strange, backwoods neo-nazi sympathizer, or the idiot philanderer that wants a moon base? Although come to think of it, it's got a kind this amusingly lunatic circus atmosphere going on.

Take them all to task, as far as I'm concerned, the color of their flag doesn't make the immune to criticism by any stretch. But this is a thread about the nazi thing, so it's not outrageously weird to find conversations about that here.
posted by Stagger Lee at 3:29 PM on February 2, 2012


Getting rid of drug laws = neo-Nazi supporter

But he isn't actually against drug laws. He's against turning that authority over to the states


He is against drug laws. He wants to end the federal laws and personally opposes state laws. He does recognize they have the right to make those laws if they want to though, much like we allow them to make alcohol laws.

"We treat alcoholism now as a medical problem and I, as a physician, think we should treat drug addiction as a medical problem and not as a crime."

There is more than enough to critisize the guy on without making stuff up.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:33 PM on February 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


It blows my mind that Americans would argue about who they'd rather be led by, a moron or a nazi-sympathizer.

I know, we deserve better than that choice. Surely we will have the opportunity to elect someone who can be both.
posted by maryr at 3:38 PM on February 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


I have a secret McCarthy that nobody else has thought of yet.
posted by box at 3:49 PM on February 2, 2012


Tom.
posted by shakespeherian at 3:50 PM on February 2, 2012


Melissa?
posted by maryr at 3:52 PM on February 2, 2012


Why on earth would I care? You can't see their hearts, but you can damn sure see their actions.

Because there can be quite a difference in the actions of someone motivated by expediency or indifference to indulge racists and the actions of someone who holds these values deeply. Let's be honest - the former has been a part of the American political scene since time began. There's always been opportunists. Real, dedicated KKK/Nazi style "let's start a new Holocaust" style racists, though... is that what we really believe Ron Paul is? 'Cause that's the strong implication. Stormfront is, after all, a little bit different than your average GOP organization.

I can't believe I'm defending Ron "Let Them Die" Paul. Man.
posted by jhandey at 3:53 PM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


quintessencesluglord: What is terribly interesting is that these issues only seem to come up here for Paul

This? You're talking about a single letter, about a half-hearted backpedaling away from something MeFi cares deeply about. Ron Paul published a damn NEWSLETTER saying these things. A newsletter is a mass communication tool that requires some organization expenditure to create, print and ship. It is certainly plausible that Ron Paul didn't know about it, but he damn well DID benefit from its publishing, and his organization was responsible for putting it out there. That's an order of magnitude more effort than the "Friends of" letter you linked to, and the views are an order of magnitude more reprehensible.

What is terribly interesting is that you didn't think of any of this when you posted your paragraph-sized link.
posted by JHarris at 3:55 PM on February 2, 2012


@box

Charlie
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 3:56 PM on February 2, 2012


oops never mind, disregard
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 3:57 PM on February 2, 2012


I can walk down the street and find dozens of people who don't/didn't like the Iraq War and have qualms about the war on drugs and all of them have roughly the same chance to be President that Ron Paul does? Should I celebrate them, too?

If they can convince large groups of Republicans to join in too, yes.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:57 PM on February 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


Is there an acceptable level of racism that you can use in a campaign that's excusable if you're a Democrat or what? Obviously it doesn't come close to what was in those news letters but it was three years ago.

All of those people have been called out for that crap, and, separately praised for the good things they have done. Ron Paul has said many racist things, participated in the horrible newsletters and slowly apologized for their existence and kind-of-apologized for their contents. Meanwhile, he's out there being a jerk on almost every other issue. Seriously, hate-crimes, abortion, immigration, health care, social security, social safety nets, education, he environment, campaign finance reform. NAACP and HRC both rate him poorly.

Yes, he wants to reform our fiscal policy, that is a good idea. Only he wants to abolish fiat currency and have monetary policy controlled politically. I will charitably call that misguided.

Yes, he supports civil liberties. Except only on a federal level.

Yes, he is anti-war. And anti-foreign aid. And anti-foreigner.

Yes, he's anti-drug-war. But he just wants to delegate that to the states. He says he's for treating drug addicts as patients, not as criminals. But he would do nothing to help them federally, nor would he support any kind of care for them. Individual charities should be enough, right?

Anything he supports that I also support, he supports for the wrong reasons and with horrible side effects. Seriously, how could anyone support the We The People Act and still call themselves libertarian?

The fact that he is racist gets brought up a lot because every time he does or says or is involved with something racist (which is pretty damn often), he comes up with a non-apology and his supporters go rabid defending him by making false-equivalencies, and moving the goalposts. He is not a fan of any kind of minority. Deal with it. If you still want to support him, fine, go ahead, that's what being a Democratic Republic is all about, that's what the First Amendment is all about (but that only applies to the federal government, remember).

Ok, all done. Sorry I was late guys.
posted by Garm at 4:04 PM on February 2, 2012 [5 favorites]


If it looks like a duck, and it quacks like a duck, and other people say it's a duck, why would I disbelieve them?

because nazis, apparently.
posted by elizardbits at 4:13 PM on February 2, 2012


Yes, he is anti-war. And anti-foreign aid. And anti-foreigner.

I'd be OK with someone hating me and not giving me money as long as they stopped trying to kill me.

A Paul presidency might be worse for America but it would be a lot better for several other countries.
posted by Trurl at 4:19 PM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'd be OK with someone hating me and not giving me money as long as they stopped trying to kill me.

That person would not be Ron Paul, who voted for the AUMF and supported funding mercenaries to hunt down terrorists. For the life of me, I can't figure out why anyone believes that Ron Paul's preferred policy would lead to fewer civilian deaths, given the track record of the Blackwaters of the world.
posted by UrineSoakedRube at 4:25 PM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm secretly hoping that Obama will pardon all non-violent drug offenders once his political capital runs out too, btw. I therefore feel completely consistent in openly hoping that Ron Paul might bring drug war opposition onto the national stage. And all the other republican candidates are just so well evil.
posted by jeffburdges at 4:26 PM on February 2, 2012


In any case, to say he's against it is probably overstating the case, as he said his opinion is evolving.

Obama opposes gay marriage, he has said so loudly and publicly. It is a bigoted position and you all look like a bunch of pathetic hypocrites when you excuse it because he is your bigot while attacking Paul supporters.

I know, I know, he is great on other issues! Guess what? That is the same exact thing Paul supporters think about their bigot.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:29 PM on February 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh boy, this thread again. Awesome.

Yes, he is anti-war. And anti-foreign aid. And anti-foreigner.

The latest Democrat talking point against Ron Paul seems to be "states rights".

So, when we last left our intrepid adventuers, zombieflanders brought up the states-rights thing with Ron Paul, and specifically Arizona's batshitinsane "papers please" law SB1070. His view, and the views of many on here, are that Ron Paul is a states-right advocate first and foremost. Drug reform, prison reform, sane policies on Iran, stances against illegal wiretapping and personal privacy are all driven by "states-rights:, aka coded racism.

So I actually decided to Google Ron Paul SB 1070. Yes, I just made a Google Ron Paul joke, but seriously, we have the fucking Internet, it's not that hard to look up this stuff.

And it turns out, Ron Paul is against SB 1070 as he writes about in his book "Liberty Defined". That article appears to be from a conservative trashing Ron Paul on his immigration policies.

Some choice quotes from it:

Ron Paul also runs down American workers, claiming that immigrants "have a work ethic superior to many of our own citizens who have grown dependent on welfare and unemployment benefits."

Many claim that illegal immigrants take American jobs. This is true, but most of the jobs they ‘take’ are the ones unemployed Americans refuse at the wage offered.

What other crazy conservatives have that viewpoint? And we all know how racist Colbert is.

So the claims that he's a states-rights advocate over libertarian are much weaker on this evidence. Same goes with his anti-border-fence stance.

The abortion issue complicates this. I'm very pro-choice, previously because that's what I always believed, but lately I've come to realize it really is about exerting control over women and literally enslaving them to the patriarchy. But I know some who are against abortion and their honest-to-god claims are religious or medical. They may not understand that some powerful forces use abortion choice as a method of control. I cannot say whether Ron Paul's reasons are the former or latter. Both are wrong, but the latter seems more excusable for a libertarian.

I'm not going to attempt to claim Ron Paul isn't racist. In all honestly, I think he probably is. But these latest Anonymous postings are pretty damn weak.

It was always my hope a Paul win in the Republican primary would change the debate to one of personal liberties that are critical to keeping the US a democracy or republic or whatever. Privacy, freedom to associate and organize are going to be very important in the coming few decades. That's why this is important to me.

My comments before about supporting Ron Paul's sane policies in some areas turning into the you chose a child molester's jam sketch feel more true every day.
posted by formless at 4:29 PM on February 2, 2012


Real, dedicated KKK/Nazi style "let's start a new Holocaust" style racists, though... is that what we really believe Ron Paul is?

On the fence, myself, but there seems little direct evidence for that claim in the meat of this post (sorry, Pope Guilty).

At best, this seems to be trying to apply guilt by association, and at worst, it looks like a collection of right-wing ramblings and community forum back-and-forth (in an abstract way, it almost mirrors an excerpt of a typically malicious Metatalk dynamic).
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:32 PM on February 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


He is against drug laws. He wants to end the federal laws and personally opposes state laws. He does recognize they have the right to make those laws if they want to though, much like we allow them to make alcohol laws.

I don't see this as really being against drug laws when he knows that there are only even a handful of states waiting to legalize pot, and that others could just as well come down harder. (Seeing how the city of Los Angeles has, with apparent public support, shut down more than 75 percent of the places that used to sell it first on zoning grounds and then on the basis of rules they seem to be making up as they go along makes me wonder whether it could even pass here.) Decriminalizing anything stronger than marijuana is likely to go down as well as needle exchanges. Being OK with 43 or 44 states carrying on prohibiting all alcohol while the others allow beer only doesn't sound like opposing Prohibition to me, just letting state legislators decide whether to avoid taking the same responsibility Congress has been avoiding.

I do think this is one of the rare instances in which turning the determination of which rights citizens have would result in a net gain rather than a loss, as in turning abortion over to the states. But it's still in "you can have rights if you live in a state that wants to give them to you, because it would be wrong for the federal government extend them to everyone" form, rather than the way he sells it.
posted by Adventurer at 4:34 PM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't see this as really being against drug laws when he knows that there are only even a handful of states waiting to legalize pot

It's not in his hands, the states have had the power to make their own drug laws pretty much forever. It doesn't take a Libertarian to not want to grab that power from them. The model for legalization should be alcohol, and that is how alcohol works.

I am not aware of any liberal legalization plan that suggests the federal power grab method, this only comes up with Paul.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:38 PM on February 2, 2012


No, no, no furiousxgeorge.

In a two party system. We have to pick the lesser of two evils so to speak. Is Obama's policies bigoted? Sure, but for fucksake, McCain/Palin would have been worse.

Rules of the game and all that.
posted by handbanana at 4:54 PM on February 2, 2012


Of course, go ahead and pick which is the better bigot to vote for.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:00 PM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Another thing that hasn't been mentioned in this thread is that Paul opposes the Americans with Disabilities Act as an unreasonable imposition on free enterprise. He would be totally fine with disabled folks being unable to have jobs, go to school, or use public transportation and public facilities. I am not sure what he would have them do, since he is also opposed to pretty much all of our social safety net, but presumably it is along the lines of what he thinks should happen to uninsured people who get treatable fatal illnesses (they should just die).

There are very few modern laws that have allowed more Americans to use the law as means to claim the basic human rights and dignity assured to them by our Constitution and too long denied by our society than the ADA, and Paul's opposition to it is in my mind unAmerican.
posted by hydropsyche at 5:07 PM on February 2, 2012 [5 favorites]


Well what other options are available? Please professor, pray tell, what should we do?

To be honest, I bet Obama doesn't believe in marriage inequality, but due to the divisive nature of the issue, he holds off. Hopefully, when his second term occurs (it is his to loose, because lets face it, Romney is another McCain in Republican's eyes he won't mobilize the base and Gingrich is a fucking nightmare without a chance in hell) more liberal policies will be enacted. He has nothing to lose at that point as he will retire from formal politics after his second term.
posted by handbanana at 5:12 PM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well what other options are available? Please professor, pray tell, what should we do?

I just told you.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:14 PM on February 2, 2012


To be honest, I bet Obama doesn't believe in marriage inequality, but due to the divisive nature of the issue, he holds off. Hopefully, when his second term occurs (it is his to loose, because lets face it, Romney is another McCain in Republican's eyes he won't mobilize the base and Gingrich is a fucking nightmare without a chance in hell) more liberal policies will be enacted. He has nothing to lose at that point as he will retire from formal politics after his second term.

So the bigotry is okay if you do it for political benefit? You know Paul used the newsletter as fundraising for his campaigns, so I guess those are okay too.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:16 PM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I'm not defending him. I'm pointing out that false statements are false. How I feel about him doesn't change factual reality, but a lot of people seem to have trouble with that.

That's what I've been saying all along as well. There are compelling reasons not to support Paul, but labeling him racist using logically unsound reasons is sloppy thinking. It reflects poorly upon ourselves.
posted by polymodus at 5:26 PM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


A Paul presidency might be worse for America but it would be a lot better for several other countries.

You know the countries cut off from the US in a Paul presidency include those who depend on the US for foreign aid?

And that drug war dodge, seriously. Let the states decide? Even the ones who have a booming prison industry? I don't know, I can't see that one working out anywhere but federally.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:31 PM on February 2, 2012


Furiousxgeorge,

You can't be so niave to believe politicians do not state positions they don't believe in for votes? A politicians job is to get (re)elected, thus must garnish an electoral win.

It isn't okay, but it shows how backwoods our nations state is.

And wow! What a great fucking response to solving the question! I suppose we all just shouldnt vote unless a candidate matches 100% of our own individual belief system!
posted by handbanana at 5:31 PM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


You can't be so niave to believe politicians do not state positions they don't believe in for votes?

Of course they do, sometimes they bash vulnerable minorities like gays or print racist things in newsletters so they can win. I just told you to vote for one of them anyway.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:35 PM on February 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


You can't be so niave to believe politicians do not state positions they don't believe in for votes?

Sorry, lost again, which candidate was this?
posted by Trurl at 5:35 PM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Truel , any candidate running for office. Particularly for president as the parties must distinguish themselves from one another
posted by handbanana at 5:40 PM on February 2, 2012


Again, furiousxgeorge, what the hell is the solution? It is a two party system, face it. Those are your options. And I will vote fo the lesser of two undesirables, i suppos you can just sit your ass at home.
posted by handbanana at 5:45 PM on February 2, 2012


I don't know how more clearly I can tell you what I have said three times so *shrug*.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:49 PM on February 2, 2012


Furiousxgeorge thinks that ending don't ask don't tell and not defending doma and court while saying that he's kinda sorta not sure about gay marriage is 'gay bashing' and equivalent to saying that you should shoot black kids to kill.
posted by empath at 5:57 PM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's not kinda sorta, he thinks the gay people should not be allowed to marry and thinks that it is a states rights issue so conservative states should be allowed to repress their marriage rights as well.

Q: Define marriage. A: I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman.

Checked NO in response a Human Rights Campaign questionaire asking if the candidate "Supports allowing civil marriage rights for same-sex couples."


I understand he has done other positive things for gays, but like Paul's urges to end the racist drug war policies one good act does not erase other acts of bigotry.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:05 PM on February 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


He has done absolutely nothing to stand in the way of gay marriage.
posted by empath at 6:07 PM on February 2, 2012


Certainly less than the Clintons did.
posted by empath at 6:07 PM on February 2, 2012


Paul never shot a black kid.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:08 PM on February 2, 2012


How is this even an fpp? Why hasn't it been deleted? Some nazi dudes saying they talked to someone who might have been associated with Ron Paul's campaign is cool stuff on the internet? I guess there weren't enough flags.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 6:32 PM on February 2, 2012


Have to read parts twice just to even parse 'em.
posted by box at 6:36 PM on February 2, 2012


...it seems dangerously similar to a belief that one can slide half-way down a slippery slope.

This seems like a fallacy, if only I could remember which one
posted by Challahtronix at 6:52 PM on February 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


So fiat money has a great success record, inflation isn't defined as the expansion of the money supply, and foreign interventionism is welcome?

Yes, fiat money has a great success record. Most definitely a better one than the Gold Standard had. You might want to look into why the gold standard was abandoned in the first place. It had a large degree of responsibility for the Great Depression for instance, preventing action from being taken that could have moderated it greatly.

Correct, inflation isn't defined as the expansion of the money supply. Inflation is defined as the general increase in prices over time. Empirical evidence, a form of evidence blatantly rejected by many "Austrian School" economists has quite emphatically proven that prices are not linked to the expansion of the money supply. That idea, a central pillar of Austrian economics, is wrong.

Foreign interventionism can be welcome sometimes, such as when it is to prevent genocides or protect smaller nations against the bullying of malevolent larger ones. Often motivations are not so pure and the consequences are not so wonderful, but US isolationism failed to work in the 30s and early 40s and it won't work now.
posted by Mokusatsu at 7:23 PM on February 2, 2012


Of course they do, sometimes they bash vulnerable minorities like gays

Really? You're going to call him a gay-basher? I don't even know how to process that. And if you really can't see the difference between "secretly racist" and "secretly pro-gay marriage" I don't know what to tell you.

How far ahead on every issue do you people expect him to be? He's not allowed to take baby steps. He must die on every hill, every fight.

What do you think you'll get out of this? Are you so deluded to believe that all it takes is Obama being "for" something and all the sudden Lefty utopia will open up? Do you not remember what he's up against? He's already a fucking crypto-Muslim from Kenya by virtue of being alive; must he be the public face of every issue, even an issue that really can't be fixed at the federal level?

But of course. It's so clear. Barack Obama the gay-basher. Fucking Christ.
posted by spaltavian at 8:29 PM on February 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


I had nothing to do with introducing the concept of secret beliefs for either politician in this thread and have made zero comments about what the result of such support would be.

I am simply going with the published comments of both men. Believing minorities should have lesser rights and that states have the right to treat them as such is bigotry, the excuse that it is a common bigotry is irrelevant. There are places and times where supporting interracial marriage may have cost a politician his election, but this does not make the decision to oppose it not an act of bigotry.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:50 PM on February 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


Take them all to task, as far as I'm concerned, the color of their flag doesn't make the immune to criticism by any stretch. But this is a thread about the nazi thing, so it's not outrageously weird to find conversations about that here.
Sure, but the "Nazi thing" seems totally specious, an internet equivalent of James O'Keefe style stunts. The newsletter thing is tangential to that though.

The thing is, it's like the only argument against Ron Paul I ever hear. Either that or people saying "He supports state's rights so he's a racist!" which is even less convincing. It's easy to say Newt Gingrich is a racist because of the actual policies and statements that he actually says. (maybe not 'internally', but clearly 'externally')
Because there can be quite a difference in the actions of someone motivated by expediency or indifference to indulge racists and the actions of someone who holds these values deeply. Let's be honest - the former has been a part of the American political scene since time began. There's always been opportunists. Real, dedicated KKK/Nazi style "let's start a new Holocaust" style racists, though... is that what we really believe Ron Paul is?
Eh. I'd argue that the 'expediency' racists are actually worse then the 'true' racists. Or at least just as bad.

Frankly the distinction has been brought up a lot lately and it kind of pisses me off that people get a pass on 'instrumental' racism. It's like, do you think it would be OK if a restaurant owner or bar owner denied service to black people because they thought it would make their bars/clubs more popular with whites? They might not be racist "in their hearts" they're just, you know actually discriminating against black people. Or politicians who support oppressive measures like SB-1070. They don't "really" hate Mexicans they're forcing the police to harass them and demand their papers.

How is that type of thing OK?

On the other hand, Ron Paul has said that he wants to pardon every non violent drug offender. If he became president, how many black men would be released from jail, and given clean records? (I think it would only apply to federal crimes, though. But I'm not sure). Ending the drug war would have a huge impact on the disparate sentencing problem between whites and blacks/Hispanics in this country. Ron Paul is the only candidate with any interest in addressing this aspect of inequity, which is one of the biggest problems we still have. (And by the way we didn't even start to see a difference in sentencing between whites and blacks overall until after the civil rights era, when we got Nixon and started the War on DrugsTM)
I don't see this as really being against drug laws when he knows that there are only even a handful of states waiting to legalize pot, and that others could just as well come down harder.
Okay, I've seen this argument recently and it is by far the most ill-conceived arguments I've heard in a while. there is nothing preventing states from coming down harder on drugs if they want too right now. Drugs or alcohol. In Texas the police have raided bars and arrested everyone with a blood alchohol level over 0.8 for public intox. In some states you can't buy alcohol on Sunday, whatever. And Nationally, alcohol is legal, but states can ban it if they choose.

Federal law is a floor for how 'hard' drugs and alcohol are cracked down on, not a ceiling. So the idea that drug laws would be harsher if we got rid of them at the federal level is just... it doesn't even make any sense. When prohibition was repealed, it was left up to the states to get rid of on an individual basis, and some states chose to be dry for a while. Today we have lots of different drugs dealing with alcohol. Some places you can't get it on Sunday, some towns don't let you buy hard liquor, and so on.

Repealing federal drug laws would have no impact on how much states could crack down.

---
To be honest, I bet Obama doesn't believe in marriage inequality, but due to the divisive nature of the issue, he holds off. Hopefully, when his second term occurs ... more liberal policies will be enacted. He has nothing to lose at that point as he will retire from formal politics after his second term.,
*rolls eyes* Come on dude, after healthcare passed what did Obama do with his political capital? Authorize offshore drilling and focus on the national debt (and not unemployment). What makes you think he even gives a crap about 'liberal policies'? People should judge the guy based on what he does and says, not their fantasies. He was a liberal when he was representing a liberal district in IL, he supported gay marriage and marijuana decriminalization. Now his government has completely flip-flopped and reversed their policies on medical marijuana for seemingly no reason at all.

I wish people would stop idealizing politicians this way. Almost of these people are terrible. You're just degrading yourselves by looking to them as "leaders". In fact I feel kind of sad about Elizabeth Warren running for senate. I really looked up to her and I feel like if she actually end up in the senate she'll be doing stuff like re-authorizing the patriot act, and crap like that (i.e. Al Franken, who did all that and not only co-sponsored SOPA, he actually still supported it after the blackouts)
You know the countries cut off from the US in a Paul presidency include those who depend on the US for foreign aid?
How many countries depend on aid from the US alone? Are there any besides Israel? A large portion of our foreign aid is actually military aid. The top four countries to receive Aid from the US in 2010 were Afghanistan, Pakistan, Israel, and Iraq. Three of them countries that we either bombed or are currently bombing and would probably be entirely delighted to see us entirely out of their lives.
You can't be so niave to believe politicians do not state positions they don't believe in for votes? A politicians job is to get (re)elected, thus must garnish an electoral win.



And wow! What a great fucking response to solving the question! I suppose we all just shouldnt vote unless a candidate matches 100% of our own individual belief system!
-- handbanana
Are you paying attention? The whole thread is about why you should apply that standard to Ron Paul, assuming he wrote/authorized those newsletters (something like 9 out of the 300 or so his company published)
posted by delmoi at 10:50 PM on February 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also is anyone going to answer me about Hillary's 2008 race baiting?
posted by delmoi at 11:38 PM on February 2, 2012


It was shitty and racist. That doesn't excuse any other shitty racism.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:50 PM on February 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


It was shitty and racist. That doesn't excuse any other shitty racism.

What "other shitty racism" are you talking about? You mean the racism that the website you linked to in the fpp alleges about Ron Paul without providing a shred of evidence to back up said allegations? This fpp is shitty and racist.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 4:52 AM on February 3, 2012


make the decision to oppose

What opposition? The only thing he has actually done as President is defend existing unions by refusing to defend DOMA.
posted by spaltavian at 5:30 AM on February 3, 2012


Come on dude, after healthcare passed what did Obama do with his political capital?

Passing healthcare cost all his political capital.
posted by spaltavian at 5:32 AM on February 3, 2012




Also is anyone going to answer me about Hillary's 2008 race baiting?
posted by delmoi at 11:38 PM on February 2 [+] [!]



Yo. That's what this was:

Take them all to task, as far as I'm concerned, the color of their flag doesn't make the immune to criticism by any stretch. But this is a thread about the nazi thing, so it's not outrageously weird to find conversations about that here.
posted by Stagger Lee at 3:29 PM on February 2 [+] [!]

posted by Stagger Lee at 8:15 AM on February 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


So the bigotry is okay if you do it for political benefit?

That's not for political benefit, it's for our benefit. Because if he doesn't get re-elected, you think Romney or Gingrich would put forward a progressive agenda on marriage equality? You think the country will make marvelous progress on that issue under another President?

It's strategy. Push marriage equality in the first term, there is no second term, and it gets repealed under Republican leadership. But get reelected to a second term, and there's a chance of passing it and defending and maintaining it until some other regressive issue lights people's asses on fire at its mere mention.
posted by Miko at 9:15 AM on February 3, 2012


It's strategy. Push marriage equality in the first term, there is no second term, and it gets repealed under Republican leadership. But get reelected to a second term, and there's a chance of passing it and defending and maintaining it until some other regressive issue lights people's asses on fire at its mere mention.

This is a perfect example of how our system is broken. Also, it seems like a good argument for presidents to have one 8-year term. That would allow presidents the luxury of actually dealing with issues instead of having to play 12 dimensional chess with the opposition just so they can get a second term.

Also, I don't see much difference between pandering to homophobes to get re-elected and pandering to racist scum bags to get elected. Unlike Obama, I've yet to see any evidence Dr. Paul is pursuing this strategy besides the unsubstantiated claims from the fpp. I don't even agree with Dr. Paul on most issues, but I do agree on some fundamental issues such as rolling back government spending, and most importantly for the future of this country repealing the patriot act, the military commissions act of 2006, and the unconstitutional provisions in the recent NDAA.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 10:34 AM on February 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


It takes some serious lack of perspective to make repealing DADT, moving hate crimes legislation forward, and refusing to enforce DOMA while not publicly stating support for gay marriage equal to pandering to homophobes; it takes a similarly mind-boggling lack of knowledge or willful ignorance to say that's equivalent to a white man who grew up in the Jim Crow South who uses the phrase "state's rights," had to go through several "no" votes before voting "yes" on MLK Day, and who still claims the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts were A Bad Thing.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:48 AM on February 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


They aren't arguing honestly, and are just using the homophobia thing as leverage against liberals. Don't bother.
posted by empath at 10:53 AM on February 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


while not publicly stating support for gay marriage (is not) equal to pandering to homophobes

What the hell is it then? He isn't coming out publicly in support of gay marriage for a reason and I'm pretty sure the reason is pretty strongly linked to the upcoming election. If that isn't the definition of pandering I don't know what is. I actually believe Obama is for gay marriage as evidenced by the actions of his administration, but the two things are not mutually exclusive. Obama can still be in favor of gay marriage and still pander to homophobes to get their votes.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 11:22 AM on February 3, 2012


Have you ever considered that he's got a shit-ton of stuff on his plate? Y'know, the shitty economy that needs fixing, a belligerent Iran and Israel itching to start WW3, racist voting laws popping up all over the place, and, yes an election too. So, what's he supposed to do? Ask Congress to clear their schedule of bills to make a bunch of statements saying gay marriage is A-OK (which will likely get voted down anyway)? Put out a toothless memo saying he's cool with the gays and schedule a dinner for the eternally useless Human Rights Campaign? That's only slightly more useful in the real world than evangelicals requiring our currency to say "In God we Trust."

And no, one can not be actively rolling back restrictions on gay rights and be pandering to homophobes at the same time.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:57 AM on February 3, 2012


O Ron Paul, Where Art Thou...
posted by obscurator at 12:17 PM on February 3, 2012


Miko: "Let me ask your question of you. Would you rather live in the contemporary US or 1938 Germany? Why or why not? I assume you don't care, since there is no difference."

America, duh. I don't speak a lick of German. Plus, sweet fucking technology that they didn't have in 1938. Oh, yeah, and that whole Nazi thing.
posted by symbioid at 1:59 PM on February 3, 2012


Pope Guilty: "It was shitty and racist. That doesn't excuse any other shitty racism."

As I heard all the time from various right-wingers after Bush got elected regarding some shitty things he did (I can't recall the specific issues, sadly)...

"But, but... Clinton did it, too!"
posted by symbioid at 2:12 PM on February 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


What opposition? The only thing he has actually done as President is defend existing unions by refusing to defend DOMA.

He is the President of the United States, it is a political action for him to publicly oppose policy.

That's not for political benefit, it's for our benefit.

If it is a political necessity to be a bigot, let someone else be the bigot. Obama isn't God's gift to politics, Hillary would have had a very similar Presidency and Obama's conscience could remain clear. He valued his personal ambition more.

It's strategy. Push marriage equality in the first term, there is no second term, and it gets repealed under Republican leadership.

So, what's he supposed to do? Ask Congress to clear their schedule of bills to make a bunch of statements saying gay marriage is A-OK

I'm not asking for a push, I'm simply asking for him to say he favors equal marriage rights. That is a simple political action that doesn't require you to talk to Congress and only Obama can repeal his own positions.

And no, one can not be actively rolling back restrictions on gay rights and be pandering to homophobes at the same time.


What if you supported integrating the army but supported banning interracial marriage? Not racist, says zombieflanders!

not publicly stating support for gay marriage

Now who is arguing dishonestly here? His position is not quiet support, it is direct opposition. He doesn't think gay people should be allowed to marry and has said so publicly, he thinks his religion says it is wrong and says so publicly "I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now, for me as a Christian ... it is also a sacred union. God's in the mix.", he thinks states have the right to ban it if they want and has said so publicly which will guarantee a lack of progress in many states.

I'm arguing dishonesly? By quoting the guy? And you are on the honest side, claiming that the man lies about his religion, his position on marriage, and his legal view of states rights?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:49 PM on February 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Seriously I can't wrap my head around this. If he isn't pandering to homophobes, whose vote is it he is afraid to lose by supporting gay marriage?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:02 PM on February 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


The depressing thing is that what we are witnessing here is a malady which affects both republicans and democrats alike. It's evil and hitleresque when the other side does it but if our side does it it's perfectly logical and even a moral obligation.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 3:03 PM on February 3, 2012


I don't see much difference between pandering to homophobes

He's not pandering to homophobes. No one will be voting for Obama as the anti-gay candidate. Pandering is saying what people want to hear just to get their vote. Homophobes don't want to hear "I'm not sure, my views are evolving" or "DOMA is unconstitutional, we will not defend it court" or "I think homosexuals should be able serve openly in the military".

What he's doing is not making an issue public while making substantial, unheralded progress on the issue.

He can't actually do anything for same-sex marriage specifically. He cannot make any direct progress on this issue, but he could be prevented from dealing with any other issue while getting bogged down in a fight he cannot win and doesn't have to win.

Even after all the deluded outrage I've seen thrown at Obama on Metafilter, seeing him called a gay basher and accused of pandering to homophobes leaves me stunned.

A black guy whose middle name is Hussein found the political will, capital and skill to make the most progress on gay rights in the history of the country and he's a fucking gay basher. Stunned.
posted by spaltavian at 3:30 PM on February 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


What he's doing is not making an issue public.

No, he made the issue public, he made his opposition public.

Pandering is saying what people want to hear just to get their vote

I am not aware of any definition that requires pandering to be directly for votes. In this case it is more an issue of enthusiasm among his most dedicated base.

New York Times: This isn’t a topic that advocates for gay rights or their many black supporters relish discussing, because it focuses on a wedge where they wish there was a tighter bond. But polls indicate that support for same-sex marriage lags among black Americans.

In 2008 Californians passed Proposition 8, which prohibited state recognition of same-sex marriage, with a 52 percent majority. Voting analyses suggest that between 58 and 70 percent of black voters backed the prohibition.


He can't actually do anything for same-sex marriage specifically. He cannot make any direct progress on this issue, but he could be prevented from dealing with any other issue while getting bogged down in a fight he cannot win and doesn't have to win.

I'm not asking him to fight. Political reality is what it is, but he can say he supports full equal marriage rights without actually going all in on a hopeless congressional fight.

Even after all the deluded outrage I've seen thrown at Obama on Metafilter, seeing him called a gay basher and accused of pandering to homophobes leaves me stunned.

It's very easy to get me to stop. Have Obama say he is wrong that his religious beliefs do not allow gay marriage, that he is wrong that states have the right to treat gay people as second class citizens, and say that they should be allowed to marry.

Look dude, if it's not political pandering and you believe he does support gay marriage secretly and is lying about his religion and all that, could you explain why he opposes it? Remember, not asking for a congressional fight.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:53 PM on February 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


You guys are making my brain hurt.
posted by JHarris at 5:10 PM on February 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't think we'll convince anyone of whether Obama's intentions are good or bad. But the fact is that he opposes same-sex marriage and is cozy with evangelicals who are comfortable with gay people being murdered under color of law. Whatever motivates him to do that, realpolitik or religion, and no matter what we think about each other personally, that reality is still, well, the shameful reality. Voters have an obligation to know that, I think.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:57 PM on February 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


All I can do is read over that Bachmann post today about suicide and bullying and the strong religious context involved and wonder how the hell anyone could call it not gay bashing that the most powerful man in the country is telling these kids his religion says they should not be allowed to get married when they grow up.

I found this quote appropriate in the context of gay marriage as well: "Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral." - Paulo Freire

Not to mention the discussion of the problems with the local and state government in Minnesota in regards to gay people and how that intersects with the state's right argument Obama makes on the issue.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:14 PM on February 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I am relieved that the revelation that Ron Paul has been actively courting racists has turned into a "the left is just as bad" false equivalency discussion. I would have been disappointed otherwise.
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:32 PM on February 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


the revelation that Ron Paul has been actively courting racists

See that's the problem. There has been no revelation, just some shitty website which makes unsubstantiated claims.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 6:46 PM on February 3, 2012


Then that is the crux of your argument. So far, reading through this discussion, it reads more like "we should ignore Paul because Obama did it too."

The "these claims are unsubstantiated" argument is more powerful and gains power upon repetition. The "Obama did it too" argument is fallacious in so much as its a false equivalency and because it assumes, ipso facto, that the claim against Paul is true. By repeating that argument, the folks employing it lend credence to the allegedly unsubstantiated claim against Paul.
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:13 PM on February 3, 2012


In this case it is more an issue of enthusiasm among his most dedicated base.

Obama is "gay bashing" to shore up the black vote. Just wanted to see that spelled out.
posted by spaltavian at 8:52 PM on February 3, 2012


The idea that supporting gay marriage would damage his support among socially conservative black voters is one that was rammed into my head by Obama supporters on this very site. You know what I used to say to it: "Obama losing black support is about as likely as frozen aerial pigs in hell, regardless of their position or his on gay marriage."

If you want to take that off the table, feel free, it's just one less excuse not to support gay marriage.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:47 PM on February 3, 2012


I am relieved that the revelation that Ron Paul has been actively courting racists has turned into a "the left is just as bad" false equivalency discussion.

No no, they are not equivalent. Paul is a worse bigot.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:48 PM on February 3, 2012


Strange Interlude: "Everyone's wrong! It was Charlie.

Don't forget Jenny.
"

Ummmm, I can't. I play Red Alert 3.
posted by Samizdata at 10:00 PM on February 3, 2012


Obama has done a ton of great stuff for gay people under the table (like this just a few days ago), as well as some higher profile stuff as mentioned. It's also shitty that he won't defend gay people in public in a lot of ways. Yeah, he's the most powerful man in the US and tells people that he believes that they shouldn't be married due to his religious beliefs. That's shitty. But really, acting like an ass is a way to draw in voters and prevent a guy who donated a ton to Prop 8 from taking the presidency, and reversing all the helpful executive orders, and internal instructions, and appointing jerks to the supreme court. It's the cost, I'm willing to pay, though I wish I didn't have to and understand other people resenting it.

But this is not about Obama. This is about Ron Paul. I think being a jerk in public and helping behind the scenes is different than being a jerk in public, then using your power to try to weaken marginalized groups even more. Seriously, he wants to make Lawrence v. Texas non-binding for states. Re-criminalize homosexuality. He's introduced it, like, a dozen times (not to mention that would re-criminalize abortion). He doesn't believe that freedom of speech, religion, free press, petition, and association aren't guaranteed rights in the constitution, merely protections from the federal government. Laws that curtail them state by state are a-ok. And he doesn't believe a right to privacy exists anywhere in the constitution.

Hydropsyche mentioned the ADA which he has repeatedly opposed and spoken out against. Seriously, this is cartoonishly villainous. He accepts money from racist groups (because suddenly he's into the first amendment again?), it isn't a stretch to believe some people from those groups support his campaign in other ways too, but again, this is not the only racist, horrible or outrageous thing he's done.

Drawing parallels between Obama and Ron Paul is silly.
posted by Garm at 1:08 AM on February 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Sorry, I just really dislike Ron Paul.
posted by Garm at 1:11 AM on February 4, 2012


And the Obama position on the drug war is villainy as well, but you have to balance out the whole person. In the end they both agreed on things like ending DADT and used their official power to support the repeal but it doesn't erase the rest of their record.

Paul's flaw is putting too much emphasis on states rights, I don't believe he is in favor state's legislating bedroom behavior, he simply feels they have that power. Obama is making the same mistake on gay marriage.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:15 AM on February 4, 2012


Paul's flaw is putting too much emphasis on states rights

And being against abortion. And wanting to return to the gold standard.

And the Obama position on the drug war is villainy as well

Sheesh. Ron Paul may be the first major candidate to recognize the evils of the war on drugs, but that's an ordinary sort of bad. White supremacist groups are extravagantly, spectacularly bad. It's not a simple moral equivalence. The choice offered is, ambivalent towards gay rights and wants to continue the war on drugs, or courts hate groups. I'm sorry, I don't think you have convinced anyone -- you are probably going to have to find a different tack, or alternatively consider that you may be wrong on this.

Paul may have seen sense on one issue. Good for him. But he is also majorly hidebound in several important ways. Every time he talks about returning to the gold standard you can hear the chittering of the demons. And I'm sorry to say, but the white supremacist thing, true or not, would never have been believable if it hadn't been for those newsletters, regardless of whether he wrote, read or directly approved them did emanate from his operation, and it's foolish to think they were diametrically opposite of what he and his people stood for.

Neither Obama nor Paul are perfect candidates. No President we've elected has ever been. It's always been a calculation game, and the figures still add up, for me at least, to Obama.
posted by JHarris at 2:28 AM on February 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm not personally concerned with his abortion stance. As for the drug war I bring it up in context of Lawrence v. Texas. It doesn't matter to me why you want the government in my bedroom, to check for gay sex or to check for drugs, either way I want you out.

The choice offered is, ambivalent towards gay rights and wants to continue the war on drugs, or courts hate groups.

Direct opposition to gay marriage is not ambivalence towards it.

Neither Obama nor Paul are perfect candidates...equivalency...

I agree, and as I have said on matters of bigotry Paul is worse.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:40 AM on February 4, 2012


Ron Paul may be the first major candidate to recognize the evils of the war on drugs, but that's an ordinary sort of bad.

Only if you don't think that the WoD has no racial component, or if you think the militarization of police and the routine confiscation of property are ordinary sorts of bad. I don't think those things.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:20 AM on February 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Only if you don't think that the WoD has no racial component
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:42 AM on February 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


The idea that supporting gay marriage would damage his support among socially conservative black voters is one that was rammed into my head by Obama supporters on this very site. You know what I used to say to it: "Obama losing black support is about as likely as frozen aerial pigs in hell, regardless of their position or his on gay marriage."
Hahaha, seriously?
Obama has done a ton of great stuff for gay people under the table (like this just a few days ago), as well as some higher profile stuff as mentioned. It's also shitty that he won't defend gay people in public in a lot of ways. Yeah, he's the most powerful man in the US and tells people that he believes that they shouldn't be married due to his religious beliefs. That's shitty.
Especially since he gave a speech talking about why it's important for religious people not to use their religion as the basis for policy, yet this specific issue is the only one where he does the opposite of what he says his views on the separation of church and state are. and throw in the fact that he used to be for Gay marriage makes it even more obviously hypocritical.
But this is not about Obama. This is about Ron Paul.
The problem is that if you say "Ron Paul is bad because of X", then if X applies to Obama that brings Obama into the discussion.

Ron Paul votes against the federal marriage amendment in '04, he also voted for the repeal of DADT. He doesn't have a hard-core anti gay rights voting record.

And remember, Ron Paul also needs to run in the republican primary, not just the national election. Votes like that would do a lot more harm to him politically then Obama.

Ultimately he is a republican, and liberals are not going to like his stand on various issues. But he's much less horrible on social issues then most republicans.
posted by delmoi at 7:26 AM on February 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm not personally concerned with his abortion stance.

How lucky for you.
posted by the young rope-rider at 8:25 AM on February 4, 2012 [10 favorites]


Yeah, he's the most powerful man in the US and tells people that he believes that they shouldn't be married due to his religious beliefs.

I'm nitpicking, and this is pretty off-topic for this conversation, but Obama is a member of the UCC, one of the few US protestant denominations that actually performs gay marriages and has taken a public stand in favor of marriage equality.

I think Obama is acting like a politician here; if he made public statements that reflected his denomination's position on marriage equality, it would piss off a lot of people, so he doesn't.

This is may make him come off even less well, depending on your point of view, but I wish people would stop blaming the UCC for his position, or his lack of willingness to take one. I think his church's position on this issue is actual pretty admirable.
posted by nangar at 9:22 AM on February 4, 2012


I specifically pointed out Obama's religious beliefs, not those of his Church, just going off his quote where he says that there is a sacred component and that marriage is between a man and a women.

I did that because I know what his preacher would say to him:

Rev. Jeremiah Wright: I refuse to limit my God, to lock God into my cultural understandings because culture is fickle. And culture is often wrong. Culture was wrong about slavery. Culture was wrong about women. Culture was wrong about Africans and Indians, and culture was wrong about Christ. I have been the pariah among many of my clergy colleagues who somehow see me as defective or not quite saved because I won't join them in their homophobic gay bashing and misquoting of scripture.

How lucky for you.

Hey, that's just me, if an issue is important to you then you should vote on it. Abortion has a separate dimension from drugs or homosexuality in terms of bedroom regulation because the people who oppose it do so in context of the (arguable) rights of the fetus. With drugs or consensual homosexual sex there is no such additional layer of complexity. It's easy to see how even Libertarians could take issue with it.

I should not phrased it as a lack of concern on my part, it's just not something I vote on since I see merit in both sides of the debate.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:56 AM on February 4, 2012


I agree, and as I have said on matters of bigotry Paul is worse.

Yeah, but it's been a long thread (400 comments and still counting) and I missed that. Sorry. Metafilter's completely non-threaded conversation system isn't helping things any.
posted by JHarris at 12:37 PM on February 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ron Paul: “If it’s an honest rape,” go to the emergency room, get “a shot of estrogen.”
posted by zombieflanders at 6:06 PM on February 4, 2012


Sounds like he is setting up a contrast between himself and Santorum on that.

Rick Santorum thinks pregnancy through rape is God's gift?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:55 PM on February 4, 2012


Jamie Kelson sure seems to think he's plugged in to Ron and Rand Paul.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:52 PM on February 5, 2012


I've been thinking thinking thinking about why I want to say Ron Paul is anti-abortion when he wants to turn it over to the states, but only pro-states'-rights when it comes to legalization. I'm thinking about how he used anti-Nazi language to criticize people who harass illegal immigrants when he himself not only doesn't actually want to do anything for them but in fact doesn't even support birthright citizenship, and how he thinks drug offenders should be treated like patients but also thinks the government shouldn't fund that. It seems that all of his personal opinions on non-fiscal domestic issues are utterly pointless: if he wants to turn everything over to the states, what he thinks states should do is relevant only if and when he runs for governor of Texas. His position in fact seems to boil down to "everybody should be good, so let's get rid of the federal government."

Pacifism would be supportable, but that's not really his position either: instead of using the opportunity he's asking for to make wise decisions about policy and when and how to use power, including for foreign aid and diplomacy and buffering, he wants there to be no more policies.

It would be a disaster if he were actually elected. Like appointing a CEO whose platform is to disband the company. It seems that most people who aren't pressing (or, like me, obsessing over) this point just want him to make the other candidates talk about the issues they're all pathetic on and perhaps force Obama to try to take over the moral high ground. But the problem with that, as I see it, is that if somebody becomes powerful enough to actually control the course of the conversation, that person starts looking like a real candidate. I don't believe the Republican establishment would ever allow him the nomination, but if he gets it into his head to run as a third-party candidate: we've been here. Gore could have replaced Rehnquist, and whatever else he might have done a random insane invadion of Iraq would not have been on the list. We might even have not only a liberal majority but enough of a buffer in the Supreme Court to be able to make it through another Republican administration, perhaps occasioned by a new thought-provoking third-party spoiler candidacy, without forcing half the women in the country to legally prove they were raped by their dads or whatever if they don't want to have the damn baby.

And more Ayn Rand sales aren't good for anybody.

I don't think it matters whether he's racist or just pandering to racists, but pointing out that he's doing one or the other seems to be the only thing that gets through to people who don't just want to draw attention to the fact that every other presidential candidate is wrong about the NDAA and legalization but in fact seem to consider the social safety net or the EPA or whatever an irrelevant abstraction. Especially to people who have somehow never thought about the government before, except to accept the conventional wisdom put into place by Reagan and accepted even by Clinton the Welfare Reformer. Ron Paul is the natural extension of Reaganism, except with Defense and the DEA taken out to attract the kids, and that is why we cannot currently have nice things: Nixon poisoned the well, Reagan told everybody water doesn't work, and Ron Paul wants to fill the rivers with chemicals and set them on fire. Well, he doesn't WANT to want to, but property rights are important, and there is no socialism in the Constitution.

I'm convinced that the key to his actual opinions, besides the concrete-headed gold thing, is in the fact that he is a passionate believer in states' rights whose state government is the one that has been making the decisions for Texas (much to the chagrin, of course, of many Texans). When I met states' rights people in Oklahoma, I knew what they meant, you know? At best, at best, they both give to charity and also say "charities should really take care of those poor people." What can be guaranteed, though, is that they like Oklahoma's government, to the extent that they like any government (there is a large Waco/Ruby Ridge contingent in southwestern libertarianism; I suspect this is a huge part of his traditional base) better than, say, the one in Massachusetts. If they're going to run for federal office under that banner, it doesn't matter which state they like better in one sense, but it matters to the people who don't like their own state governments. Whose state governments might prefer being theocracies. I don't understand why a libertarian would not be trying to liberate as many people as he (it usually is) has access to. State borders seem so arbitrary.
posted by Adventurer at 11:38 PM on February 5, 2012


I've been thinking thinking thinking about why I want to say Ron Paul is anti-abortion when he wants to turn it over to the states, but only pro-states'-rights when it comes to legalization.

Ron Paul is fully anti-abortion, not pro-state's rights, despite what hypocritical grunts he may emit when questioned. For example, he co-introduced the Sanctity of Life Act, which was a federal bill which defined life as beginning at conception. A principled state's rights activist would have had nothing to do with such a thing, but Ron Paul is not a principled state's rights activist.
posted by Sticherbeast at 4:38 AM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


As far as the pro-life side is concerned, the problem with the Sanctity of Life Act is that it would allow state's to legalize abortion.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:46 AM on February 6, 2012


Heh, looks like the Republicans are getting sick of him in the race.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:38 AM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


As far as the pro-life side is concerned, the problem with the Sanctity of Life Act is that it would allow state's to legalize abortion.

Sure, they'd be satisfied with nothing less than a literal nationwide ban, but it doesn't change the fact that the Sanctity of Life Act defines life as beginning from conception. Having your cake and eat it, too - the Supreme Court can't say anything about abortion being legal, but we, in Congress, can say that abortion is murder.

I'm also amused generally by the idea that you could remove the Supreme Court's jurisdiction over certain areas of law by just...passing a law. "A world of no," as Buffy would say.
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:13 AM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Abortion is a libertarian litmus test, even if you think the embryo or fetus is a person. If you want it to be illegal, you want to use force to coerce someone to give up their body and health and risk their own life in order to provide life support to another person. If you're okay with using someone's actual body to support someone else but you're not okay with using taxes for social services (which also keep people alive), you're a hypocrite, not a libertarian.
posted by the young rope-rider at 6:22 AM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sure, they'd be satisfied with nothing less than a literal nationwide ban

Sure, my only point is it doesn't conflict with his states rights point of view to specifically grant the power to protect the life it defines to the states.

Abortion is a libertarian litmus test, even if you think the embryo or fetus is a person.

I don't really buy it. If you see it as a human life, you can see it as a human life in a unique circumstance. Libertarian pro-lifers who accept the rape exception are the only folks on that side of the debate who do it without hypocrisy. From that point of view, you have the right to refuse to support that person by choosing not to have sex or choosing to use birth control. Only when the choice is taken out of your hands should you have the right to abortion.

It's crazy, but logical crazy!
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:47 AM on February 6, 2012


But now let me ask you to imagine this. You wake up in the morning and find yourself back to back in bed with an unconscious violinist. A famous unconscious violinist. He has been found to have a fatal kidney ailment, and the Society of Music Lovers has canvassed all the available medical records and found that you alone have the right blood type to help. They have therefore kidnapped you, and last night the violinist's circulatory system was plugged into yours, so that your kidneys can be used to extract poisons from his blood as well as your own. The director of the hospital now tells you, "Look, we're sorry the Society of Music Lovers did this to you--we would never have permitted it if we had known. But still, they did it, and the violinist is now plugged into you. To unplug you would be to kill him. But never mind, it's only for nine months. By then he will have recovered from his ailment, and can safely be unplugged from you." Is it morally incumbent on you to accede to this situation? No doubt it would be very nice of you if you did, a great kindness. But do you have to accede to it? What if it were not nine months, but nine years? Or longer still? What if the director of the hospital says. "Tough luck. I agree. but now you've got to stay in bed, with the violinist plugged into you, for the rest of your life. Because remember this. All persons have a right to life, and violinists are persons. Granted you have a right to decide what happens in and to your body, but a person's right to life outweighs your right to decide what happens in and to your body. So you cannot ever be unplugged from him." I imagine you would regard this as outrageous, which suggests that something really is wrong with that plausible-sounding argument I mentioned a moment ago.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:23 AM on February 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


By that logic you could avoid paying taxes if you avoid working and making money, therefore all taxes are just.

What? You need to make money in order to have a decent life? Well, you also need to be able to get it on in order to have a decent life. That doesn't give anyone the right to live off of you against your will.
posted by the young rope-rider at 8:23 AM on February 6, 2012


See, you have to imagine that you voluntarily entered into a situation in which you knew you might have a violinist strapped to you. I'm not arguing with you guys, just explaining why it's consistent.

Children are a result of getting off, there are ways to minimize that risk down to close to nothing. The libertarian personal responsibility point of view requires people take responsibility for their actions. The kid didn't have any more free will than the mother, it had much less and someone who views that fetus as a person will value the rights of that individual as well.

Again this is not how I view abortion, but I do find your criticisms of this view to be off base.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:35 AM on February 6, 2012


Sure, my only point is it doesn't conflict with his states rights point of view to specifically grant the power to protect the life it defines to the states.

No, you are not reading what the bill actually says. The Sanctity of Life Bill defines, at the federal level, life as beginning at conception. This would be a federal override of any state defining otherwise. This is intentional. This has obvious federal implications at the federal level, especially when it come to regulating adjudicating issues between states. This runs roughshod over state's rights, which makes sense, because Ron Paul's pro-life stance takes priority over his integrity with regard to states' rights.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:36 AM on February 6, 2012 [2 favorites]



Children are a result of getting off, there are ways to minimize that risk down to close to nothing. The libertarian personal responsibility point of view requires people take responsibility for their actions.

You should read the whole article:
If the room is stuffy, and I therefore open a window to air it, and a burglar climbs in, it would be absurd to say, "Ah, now he can stay, she's given him a right to the use of her house--for she is partially responsible for his presence there, having voluntarily done what enabled him to get in, in full knowledge that there are such things as burglars, and that burglars burgle.'' It would be still more absurd to say this if I had had bars installed outside my windows, precisely to prevent burglars from getting in, and a burglar got in only because of a defect in the bars. It remains equally absurd if we imagine it is not a burglar who climbs in, but an innocent person who blunders or falls in. Again, suppose it were like this: people-seeds drift about in the air like pollen, and if you open your windows, one may drift in and take root in your carpets or upholstery. You don't want children, so you fix up your windows with fine mesh screens, the very best you can buy. As can happen, however, and on very, very rare occasions does happen, one of the screens is defective, and a seed drifts in and takes root. Does the person-plant who now develops have a right to the use of your house? Surely not--despite the fact that you voluntarily opened your windows, you knowingly kept carpets and upholstered furniture, and you knew that screens were sometimes defective. Someone may argue that you are responsible for its rooting, that it does have a right to your house, because after all you could have lived out your life with bare floors and furniture, or with sealed windows and doors. But this won't do--for by the same token anyone can avoid a pregnancy due to rape by having a hysterectomy, or anyway by never leaving home without a (reliable!) army.
posted by empath at 11:03 AM on February 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


Sure, my only point is it doesn't conflict with his states rights point of view to specifically grant the power to protect the life it defines to the states.

The determination of the point at which an embryo acquires certain rights as a person should not be referred to as "defining life." This is framing pushed by the antiabortion lobby (misnamed the "Right to Life" lobby) deliberately meant to obfuscate the actual question being debated and beg the question itself. "Life" imbues all organisms and there is no disagreement about whether the cells of the earliest product of a fertilized egg are alive or not. There is agreement that even the sperm and the egg prior to fertilization are both alive in the biological sense. It's not even human life we are debating, because everyone would agree that the genes are human genes, not monkey genes or amœba genes.

The debate is actually about at what point the fertilized egg product becomes an entity with rights equivalent to a newborn baby. It's about rights, not about life. That means we have to think deeper than about the nature of the genes encoding its future form and delve into the question of whether a clump of cells without agency, consciousness, or even independence has equivalent rights to a newborn. My point here is not to recommend a correct answer to the question, but rather to encourage us to frame the question honestly and not to semantically predetermine its answer. If it were honest the "Right to Life" lobby would rename itself the "Fœtal Rights" lobby. They could then honestly make the argument that a newly fertilized egg has the same rights as a newborn, i.e., it cannot be killed without due process. This nonsense of arguing about when "life begins," whatever that is supposed to mean, merely muddies the water.
posted by Mental Wimp at 11:43 AM on February 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Consensual sex isn't burglary, the metaphor just doesn't work.

The determination of the point at which an embryo acquires certain rights as a person should not be referred to as "defining life." This is framing pushed by the antiabortion lobby

I know, I am explaining the point of view of a pro-life libertarian, not endorsing it.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:40 PM on February 7, 2012


Consensual sex isn't burglary, the metaphor just doesn't work.

The sex partner isn't the burglar, the fetus is.

posted by empath at 4:12 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


My problem with the "abortion is murder" crowd is that most of them are entirely too casual about it. If you (you know, "you") want to ban abortion but aren't also calling for the investigation of all miscarriages for the possibility of foul play, including negligent homicide and manslaughter, you don't really mean it, and should therefore leave the debate to people who take it seriously. Of course, given that somewhere between 15 and 20 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage, and most of those occur during the first trimester and therefore can elude the notice of outside observers, this would probably require constant testing and surveillance of all fertile women, but that's a small price to pay when you realize that murderers -- perhaps even serial killers -- currently have free reign to operate under the radar. There's some money in that, isn't there? Who are those guys who do the private prisons?
posted by Adventurer at 4:55 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Burglars make conscious decisions to steal things, a fetus created by the consensual act of the mother. If it is burglary, the fetus is the one being forced to steal at gunpoint since it has no say in the matter.

One of my main issues with both sides of the debate is trying to black and white this stuff and make it simple when it is clear it is an exceedingly complex question.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:07 PM on February 7, 2012


Burglars make conscious decisions to steal things, a fetus created by the consensual act of the mother. If it is burglary, the fetus is the one being forced to steal at gunpoint since it has no say in the matter.

There are different ways to use the burglary metaphor, but that doesn't make one that only describes the experience of the woman invalid. The whole problem is that there is no way to reconcile a fetal right to be alive with a woman's right to not be pregnant for nine months and give birth. You have to pick one.

It might make more sense for this metaphor to consider sperm "all the people who could potentially be burglars, because there is no way to eliminate the possibility of burglary except to not have anything to break into" and the moment of theft the act of conception. The key is that whether sex is consensual (and one non-metaphorical problem is that it isn't always consensual, and it's unclear exactly how easy it would be for a woman to prove in a timely fashion that she conceived on account of rape, or whether every state would even allow an exception for it) isn't really the issue, since we're talking about the rights of ALL women to this worst-case-scenario insurance policy. It's easy, in a way, to say that any one particular woman can choose to limit herself to anal/oral/manual sex so long as she is fertile and doesn't want children (although of course the former is not an exciting option for many of them). Because if women are to protect themselves in order to insure that they will absolutely 100 percent never become pregnant against their will, they can never have vaginal sex, consensual or not, so long as they are fertile. It is unreasonable, however, to expect that women of child-bearing age, in the aggregate, must all choose not to have vaginal sex or else cede their reproductive rights. Because otherwise heterosexual men will be limited to vaginal sex with women who are OK with getting pregnant (and requiring marriage or child support) if it accidentally happens, menopausal women, women who have had hysterectomies, and prepubescent girls. So the idea that sex is consensual doesn't really reduce the metaphor, as a description of What It Is to Be a Woman Who Doesn't Want to Get Pregnant. It's irrelevant, both on account of rape and practicality. The idea is more that Someone Will Have Sex.

If you want a metaphor that takes both a woman's desire not to host a fetus and the fact that the fetus did not make a choice into account, it would be more accurate to compare it to a tapeworm that did not choose to get eaten. I know this makes me sound hostile to the very idea of pregnancy, but the idea of being made to give birth is kind of upsetting, and there are no neutral-sounding parasites that simply end up where they end up coming to mind at the moment.
posted by Adventurer at 12:59 PM on February 8, 2012


Burglars make conscious decisions to steal things, a fetus created by the consensual act of the mother. If it is burglary, the fetus is the one being forced to steal at gunpoint since it has no say in the matter.

Sorry, but it's the sperm that's the burglar. It swims of its own volition, enters the enclave of the egg without being asked, and then proceeds to rearrange the furniture and remodel the house. Naughty, bad gamete!
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:28 PM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I can only speak for myself, but I'm not sure the burglary metaphor is really aiding understanding.
posted by box at 5:11 AM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Look, as I said I'm just explaining the logic of the Libertarian perspective. I don't agree with it, but I think this about sums it up:

The whole problem is that there is no way to reconcile a fetal right to be alive with a woman's right to not be pregnant for nine months and give birth. You have to pick one.

They pick the right to life as taking precedence, and if you believe it is really a human life and not a tapeworm that makes logical sense. The opposite point of view makes the same sense.

Personally, the reason I can never come to a final personal position on this is that I see the fetus as more than a tapeworm and less than a human. It's all shades of grey in truth but the answer can only practically be black and white in policy. So, I support legal abortion because it may be morally wrong but it isn't murder, and prohibition would not reduce the occurrence of this immoral act, only make it more dangerous. Honestly, if I was King-Dictator of the world and there was a law that would actually stop abortion, I might consider it. We don't live in that world though.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:20 PM on February 9, 2012


US Marines posed with Nazi symbol in Afghanistan

Why not get upset over ACTUAL Nazi stuff in Government?
posted by rough ashlar at 4:21 PM on February 9, 2012


Honestly, if I was King-Dictator of the world and there was a law that would actually stop abortion, I might consider it.

So you'd consider forcing women to give birth against their will? That's awful.
posted by the young rope-rider at 4:38 PM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I would King-Dictate up perfect birth control measures too in my rulership of Imaginationland.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:10 PM on February 9, 2012


Why not get upset over ACTUAL Nazi stuff in Government?

Sorry, can only get upset about one Nazi thing at a time!

That's disgusting, and I hope somebody takes a very close look at every action they were involved in, but I don't think any of those guys are congressmen or presidential candidates? There are probably a couple of Nazi sympathizers working at the Post Office too. I mean, I don't know that this is a comment on anything but what a military requires and does and is willing to accept, and maybe on the training regimen that since Vietnam has become increasingly effective at depersonalizing the enemy (of course, the picture says these are snipers, so presumably they have to depersonalize the enemy in order to function). While it's a fine symbol of everything that's being done wrong there I'm not sure what this actually says about Afghanistan except that it is a place where there are consequences for the fact that soldiers can be evil assholes. But soldiers can be evil assholes who should be drummed out of the service during just wars, too. This doesn't seem like much of anything compared to actual murders of civilians by soldiers and corporate mercenaries that aren't being investigated.

I hate that we're so destructive and useless there, because the prospect of withdrawing and thereby potentially making the situation even worse for women is awful to contemplate. (As opposed to in Iraq, where the only reason to not leave immediately was to try to restore/shore up some of what we decimated for no reason. Infrastructure, government, etc.) I don't know why we don't treat the institutionalized abuse and suppression of women the way we treated apartheid. But the people we've put in power aren't much better than the Taliban, and they're so corrupt I don't see how anybody there can trust us. Surely there must be smarter avenues than either occupation or isolationism.
posted by Adventurer at 5:49 PM on February 9, 2012


CPAC Panel Will Feature White Nationalist Leader Brimelow.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:01 PM on February 9, 2012


CPAC Panel Will Feature White Nationalist Leader Brimelow.

This is LGF. If they think the group is racist, it's racist.
posted by Mental Wimp at 6:11 PM on February 9, 2012


So, I support legal abortion because it may be morally wrong but it isn't murder, and prohibition would not reduce the occurrence of this immoral act, only make it more dangerous.

Why do you believe prohibition would not reduce the occurrence of abortions?

From here:

"After the fall of communism Poland outlawed abortion in nearly all circumstances. As a result, annual reported abortions have fallen from about 130,000 per year in the mid 1980s to about 160 per year in 1999-2004.

....

We cannot document what we cannot observe. I would, however, argue that the annual numbers of abortions by Polish women are significantly lower as a result of the anti-abortion laws. This is based on the following:

-continued decline in numbers of births;

-only a slight (2%) rise in miscarriages in 1992-93, followed by continued decline (note that miscarriages are the favored evidence of clandestine abortions in many countries);

-no increase in pregnancy-related deaths;

-aggressive actions by authorities to deter illegal abortion;

-no evidence of abortion tourism in very large numbers."
posted by BigSky at 5:40 AM on February 10, 2012


That site does not seem credible.
posted by the young rope-rider at 6:34 AM on February 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


That site does not seem credible.

Does that mean the author endorses a position you find objectionable?

But who cares about the website, let's talk about the argument. Is the reasoning sound?

Here's the author's page of statistics on abortions in Poland. Note the citations. I will link to two of them directly:

United Nations Statistics - Legally Induced Abortions, 1999-2008.

Council of Europe - Poland: Births, Deaths and Legal Abortions (.xls file).
posted by BigSky at 3:13 PM on February 10, 2012


Does that mean the author endorses a position you find objectionable?

No, it means that you linked to a page with no citations that draws conclusions that do not make sense. Of these, only the bolded actually provides significant support to his conclusion:

continued decline in numbers of births;
only a slight (2%) rise in miscarriages in 1992-93, followed by continued decline (note that miscarriages are the favored evidence of clandestine abortions in many countries);
no increase in pregnancy-related deaths;
aggressive actions by authorities to deter illegal abortion;
no evidence of abortion tourism in very large numbers.

The rest is not good evidence for his conclusion. The idea that a lower birthrate is somehow proof that there are fewer abortions is somewhat bizarre. In the case of abortion tourism, he does not actually have numbers for abortions in foreign countries and admits as much.

The number of births continuing to decline does not support the argument. The number of legal abortions provided is irrelevant.

In my opinion, making abortion illegal probably does reduce the number of abortions provided, which is partly why I find it so abhorrent. Your argument, however, and the argument on the site, are nonsensical.
posted by the young rope-rider at 3:34 PM on February 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


CPAC also features lectures on how to PICK UP BABEZZZZZZZZZ
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:37 PM on February 10, 2012


"After the fall of communism Poland outlawed abortion in nearly all circumstances. As a result, annual reported abortions have fallen from about 130,000 per year in the mid 1980s to about 160 per year in 1999-2004.


So they outlawed abortions and there was a tremendous decrease in reported abortions? Go fucking figure.
posted by nathancaswell at 3:47 PM on February 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


In my opinion, making abortion illegal probably does reduce the number of abortions provided, which is partly why I find it so abhorrent.

This is what is wrong with focusing so single-mindedly on the number of abortions, rather than on the condition of those potentially affected. If you reduce the number of abortions by increasing the number of miserable children and parents, then you've certainly not improved the lot of the populace. It's one of the ways we know that the "pro-life" movement isn't really. They are concerned exclusively with preserving potential life, and have little concern about those actualized lives. A lot of them (some related to me, in fact) believe that the government should take a huge role in outlawing voluntary abortions and punishing those who might perform them, but NO role in providing care for those "post-birth" lives, neither mother nor child, except to punish the mother if she doesn't do it well. It makes me pretty sick.
posted by Mental Wimp at 3:48 PM on February 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


The rest is not good evidence for his conclusion. The idea that a lower birthrate is somehow proof that there are fewer abortions is somewhat bizarre. In the case of abortion tourism, he does not actually have numbers for abortions in foreign countries and admits as much.

All the evidence listed suggests there are fewer abortions in Poland. If abortion is not an option it is reasonable to assume there would be less casual sex, especially sex where neither partner is using birth control. This would likely lower the number of unplanned pregnancies and show up as a slight decrease in the number of births. Conclusive data on abortions in foreign countries is unavailable but given the data he has found in neighboring countries, it is difficult to believe that it could possibly make up the gap in the number of abortions before and after the law changed (100,000+). That there has been little to no rise in pregnancy related deaths and miscarriages is also suggestive that the number of illegal abortions being performed is small, especially relative to the total number of legal abortions before the fall of communism.

No citations? Did you see the link in the comment you responded to? There were no citations because he has a separate page focusing on the numbers.
posted by BigSky at 4:23 PM on February 10, 2012


If abortion is not an option it is reasonable to assume there would be less casual sex, especially sex where neither partner is using birth control.

That is one of the most hilariously stupid sentences I've ever read on metafilter.
posted by empath at 4:45 PM on February 10, 2012 [6 favorites]


BTW, I am STILL slagged off I can't use the term skinhead to refer to my punk(ier) days, since inbred Neo-Nazi scumwhores had to corrupt the term.
posted by Samizdata at 6:48 PM on February 23, 2012


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